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Hot October!

October 4, 2018

Adult Peregrine Falcon with prey at Long Key State Park. Photo by Chris Payne.

October has gotten off to a blazing start at the Hawkwatch with three consecutive triple-digit Peregrine Falcon days! Wednesday marked the best day of the season so far with 178 Peregrines and 345 total raptors being tallied. This catapulted us past the 1,000 Peregrine mark for the season, landing us at 1,141. The wind is forecasted to remain out of the ENE for the next several days, so these impressive flights should continue!

Adult dark-morph Short-tailed Hawk. Photo by Chris Payne.

Several species of raptors that were hard to come by in September will be sure to increase as the month moves on. Sharp-shinned Hawks and American Kestrels have only just begun to show up in the Keys, but should soon be numerous migrants. Several dark-morph Short-tailed Hawks have been seen displaying their aerial acrobatics from the Hawkwatch platform, and it’s only a matter of time before their light-morph counterparts arrive.

American Avocet at Curry Hammock State Park. Photo by Chris Payne.

The raptor migration isn’t the only one heating up here in October. There have been 15 species of warblers seen at Long Key State Park since the beginning of the month, as well as other passerines such as Summer Tanagers, Baltimore Orioles, and Indigo Buntings. Curry Hammock has turned up a few other migrants including Swainson’s Thrush, Dickcissel, and American Avocet. We’ll be ready at both locations for whatever comes next!

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