60 Raptors at Wildcat Ridge, Hibernia, NJ, Oct. 12, 2014

Wildcat Ridge
Hibernia, New Jersey, USA

Daily Raptor Counts: Oct 12, 2014
Species Day’s Count Month Total Season Total
Black Vulture 0 0 0
Turkey Vulture 0 0 0
Osprey 5 8 71
Bald Eagle 3 10 57
Northern Harrier 1 1 14
Sharp-shinned Hawk 23 90 256
Cooper’s Hawk 18 32 102
Northern Goshawk 0 1 1
Red-shouldered Hawk 0 0 4
Broad-winged Hawk 0 2 6465
Red-tailed Hawk 3 6 15
Golden Eagle 0 0 0
American Kestrel 4 36 72
Merlin 1 1 6
Peregrine Falcon 2 2 4
Unknown Raptor 0 1 16
Total: 60 190 7083


Observation start time: 08:00:00
Observation end time: 17:30:00
Total observation time: 9.5 hours
Official Counter Tom Gorman
Observers: Harold L., Mary C., Nora O., Mike L.

 

Visitors:
169, including Barbara & Jim, Mary and Gary who were very helpful in pulling raptors from a total blue sky. We thank all of the visitors who were all quite helpful in finding raptors today.

Weather:
Initial 30% light cloud cover that changed to 0% coverage by 1030 hrs and remained same throughout the day. Winds 0-3 MPH from s/se with a temp range of 41F-54F. Visibility in early morning hours ~10 miles and increased to 30 by days end.

Raptor Observations:
Majority of raptors were at high and distant elevations with a handful of exceptions being much closer. The 1st bird of the day was an imm. Bald Eagle @ 0832 hours but remained to the left and north of the watch, not to be seen again. 2 Adult Bald Eagles (1423 hrs) passed at ridge level in front of the watch, soared and did aerial battles when a 3rd adult Bald Eagle joined the other pair @ 1426 hrs. The aerial show went to a higher elevation and lasted for about 15 minutes when the first pair split off and went south. Ten minutes later the third adult also went south and out of sight. The accipiters all followed the same flight path through out the day. The Red-tailed hawks were at very high elevation and were non-stop south. All Osprey were mid elevation except for the last one at day’s end came down into the valley below. The Kestrels were all overhead and just above treetop level. At 1625 hours a visitor spotted what turned out to be a Peregrine Falcon speeding south over the “Guns of Navarone” condos. Prior to the end of the watch @ approx 1815 hours another Peregrine Falcon came down into the valley in front of the Pillar Drive ball fields. It appeared to be landing for the night.

Non-raptor Observations:
Normal TV’s and BV’s and local adult and imm. Red-tailed hawks treated the visitors to lengthy aerobatics above us. Monarchs: 37 Skeins of Canada Geese: 26 w/an average of 70+ members each. At 1620 hours another skein of 9 Geese were observed and seen immediately to be Snow Geese, which are a bit early in arriving. DC Cormorants: 7 Other regular locals: Raven, B.C. Chickadees, Blue Jays,N. Cardinal and T.Titmouse.

Predictions:
Overnight to be in the 50’s with partly cloudy and temps in 60’s….chance of showers late day.

 


Report submitted by Fred Vanderburgh
Wildcat Ridge information may be found at: http://www.njfishandwildlife.com/wldcthwk.htm

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