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August 14, 2011

Fall migration 2011 is upon us, and the Florida Keys Hawkwatch (FKH) is ready to monitor the movement of birds of prey over the Middle Keys! What could be more exciting than a season of excellent raptor flights at FKH’s Curry Hammock State Park location? As the southernmost hawkwatch in the continental U.S., FKH experiences unique monitoring opportunities for species such as Mississippi and Swallow-tailed Kites, Short-tailed Hawks, and falcons – among 15 species of raptors. The site holds the highest season total for Peregrine Falcon migration, with 2,858 birds observed during the 2003 season, and is the world’s highest daily Peregrine count, with 638 birds counted on October 11, 2008!

Join FKH during the 2011 season. We encourage, support, and depend on citizen science efforts as an important part of the monitoring of migratory birds. Our official counters, along with participating citizens, grant the scientific and conservation communities crucial data for the assessment of raptor populations.

Dozens of volunteers and hundreds of visitors will participate during 2011, from September 15 through November 13, 9am to 4pm, rain or shine. Volunteer counters are always in need, for short periods or for longer term. Housing in the Middle Keys is provided for registered participants; contact Rafael Gálvez at or 305-804-6003.

The Florida Keys Hawkwatch is possible through the support of Tropical Audubon Society, and its Florida Keys Audubon Society and Space Coast Audubon Society partners. Along with the guidance and tools provided by the Hawk Migration Association of North America, and the Cruickshank Research Award granted by the Florida Ornithological Society, the project commits to the study of birds of prey, and to promoting their appreciation and conservation.

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