Posted by: susanaheath | 22 July 2015

We’re getting ready!

Hello all,

It’s that time again – hawk watch time! Here at GCBO we are getting ready and will be up and running on August 1st. We need more volunteers to help the counter with data collection, visitor sign up and t-shirt sales so if you’d like to help, please e-mail Sue ( No experience necessary but enthusiasm required! Also, if you are retired and your company offers some type of donation program for volunteer hours, please consider giving a few hours to the hawk watch. Our counter this year if Bob Baez. Bob was here in 2008 with Kevin George when the count was cancelled due to Hurricane Ike. He is anxious to return as head counter and looking forward to spending time with our many visitors! Stay tuned for more details.

Posted by: jasonbojczyk | 19 November 2014

Final Numbers

11-13 Raptors: 17

Bald Eagle-2

Sharp-shinned Hawk-3

Cooper’s Hawk-2

Broad-winged Hawk-2

Red-tailed Hawk-6

Swainson’s Hawk-2

11-14 Raptors: 57

Turkey Vulture-48

Northern Harrier-4

Broad-winged Hawk-4

Unknown Accipiter-1

11-15 Raptors: 0

Season Total: 111,411 Raptors

Black Vulture-249

Turkey Vulture-2,184


Bald Eagle-19

Northern Harrier-145

Sharp-shinned Hawk-726

Cooper’s Hawk-390

Red-shouldered Hawk-7

Broad-winged Hawk-103,877

Red-tailed Hawk-33

Swainson’s Hawk-158

White-tailed Hawk-7

Zone-tailed Hawk-1

Golden Eagle-2

American Kestrel-190


Peregrine Falcon-35

Crested Caracara-2

Mississippi Kite-3,294

Swallow-tailed Kite-37

White-tailed Kite-7

Unknown Accipiter-6

Unknown Falcon-6

Unknown Raptor-3

Final Smith Point Numbers:

Species seen from tower this fall: 187

Species at Smith Point* this fall: 223 comprised of nearly 500,000 birds

*Defined as from Brandt/Nelson road south to shore, anywhere west of here, and offshore up to 3 miles

Posted by: jasonbojczyk | 12 November 2014

Impressive Waterbird Flight

11-10 Raptors: 0

11-11 Raptors: 2

Sharp-shinned Hawk-1

Northern Harrier-1

11-12 Raptors: 2

Bald Eagle-1

Broad-winged Hawk-1

Though I knew it was coming I still didn’t expect it to get as cold as it did today on the tower. It was completely overcast the whole day with strong NNE winds and temperatures steady at 50 degrees, feeling like lower to mid-forties. These brutal conditions sure reminded me of places up north! The waterbird flight today was pretty amazing though. It was a steady flight for 7 hours, but most of the geese came in the first 3 hours of the count. Perhaps the most amazing thing about today’s flight was the unprecedented number of Killdeer-over 500 headed past the tower!!! This is by far the most I’ve ever seen in a day, let alone as a clear, obvious movement of the species. The flight lines were both in front of and behind the tower. Scaup were persistent throughout the count and could always be seen sitting or flying over the bays. It was definitely a day that takes a toll on the eyes as I didn’t have a single scan without a new bird until the 7th hour. Notables at Smith Point today included Common Goldeneye, Hooded Merganser, Marbled Godwit, and Sprague’s Pipit. Notably absent for a day like today were numbers of Greater White-fronted Geese (just 2 flocks), Robins, Sparrows, Blackbirds, and Finches. All-in-all fantastic day and here’s today’s (mostly) waterbird numbers. All numbers are from the tower unless otherwise indicated.

Total: 8,065 (mostly) waterbirds

Greater White-fronted Goose-111

Snow Goose-3,181

Ross’s Goose-87

Snow/Ross’s Goose-611


Mottled Duck-2 (not from tower)

Northern Shoveler-14

Dabbler Species-23


Greater Scaup-17

Lesser Scaup-206

Scaup Species-1,560

Aythya Species-366

Common Goldeneye-3

Hooded Merganser-4 (not from tower)

Red-breasted Merganser-32

Duck Species-134

Common Loon-3

American White Pelican-41

Brown Pelican-100+

Neotropic Cormorant-1

Double-crested Cormorant-2

Cormorant Species-100+

Great Blue Heron-4 (half from tower)

Great Egret-3 (not from tower)

Snowy Egret-4 (1 from tower)

White Ibis-11

Plegadis Species-16

Black-bellied Plover-3 (1 from tower)

Semipalmated Plover-1

Killdeer-521!!! (comprised of 48 different flocks)

American Oystercatcher-4 (half from tower)

Black-necked Stilt-2 (not from tower)

Spotted Sandpiper-3

Greater Yellowlegs-2

Willet-12 (2 from tower)

Marbled Godwit-1

Ruddy Turnstone-20+ (not from tower)

Sanderling-1 (not from tower)

Least Sandpiper-4 (not from tower)


Wilson’s Snipe-5

Shorebird Species-14

Laughing Gull-150+ (most from tower)

Ring-billed Gull-9 (7 from tower)

Herring Gull-1

Caspian Tern-1

Forster’s Tern-20+

Royal Tern-2

Tern Species-9

Tree Swallow-600+

American Pipit-2

Sprague’s Pipit-1

Some poor photos documenting today:

The day's lone raptor highlight

The day’s lone raptor highlight

One of the larger Scaup flocks

One of the larger Scaup flocks

One of the 48 flocks of Killdeer

One of the 48 flocks of Killdeer

Snow Geese

Snow Geese

Northern Shovelers

Northern Shovelers

Common Goldeneye

Common Goldeneye

Hooded Mergansers

Hooded Mergansers

One of at least 2 Long-tailed Skippers that were around yesterday. Prior to this cold front 15+ butterfly species was regular in recent days

One of at least 2 Long-tailed Skippers that were around yesterday. Prior to this cold front 15+ butterfly species were regular around the tower in recent days

Posted by: jasonbojczyk | 9 November 2014

11-8 and 11-9 Raptors

11-8 Raptors: 80 

Broad-winged Hawk-3

Red-tailed Hawk-1

Swainson’s Hawk-1

Sharp-shinned Hawk-3

Turkey Vulture-52

Black Vulture-13

Northern Harrier-4

White-tailed Hawk-1

Bald Eagle-2

11-9 Raptors: 4

Broad-winged Hawk-3

Northern Harrier-1

Posted by: jasonbojczyk | 7 November 2014

11-6 and 11-7 Raptors

11-6: 0 Raptors

11-7: 137 Raptors

Broad-winged Hawk-24

Red-tailed Hawk-4

Swainson’s Hawk-4

Sharp-shinned Hawk-1

Cooper’s Hawk-2

Turkey Vulture-74

Black Vulture-19

American Kestrel-2

Northern Harrier-4

Bald Eagle-3

Additional Raptors Seen: Osprey, Crested Caracara, White-tailed Hawk

Posted by: jasonbojczyk | 5 November 2014

11-4 and 11-5 Raptors

11-4 Raptors: 3

Broad-winged Hawk-1

American Kestrel-1

Peregrine Falcon-1

11-5 Raptors: 0

Posted by: jasonbojczyk | 3 November 2014

11-3 Raptors

Today’s Count: 10

Broad-winged Hawk-6

Red-tailed Hawk-1

Sharp-shinned Hawk-2

Cooper’s Hawk-1

Posted by: jasonbojczyk | 2 November 2014

11-2 Raptors

Today’s Count: 12

Broad-winged Hawk-9

Swainson’s Hawk-1

Sharp-shinned Hawk-1

American Kestrel-1

Posted by: jasonbojczyk | 1 November 2014

11-1 Raptors

Today’s Count: 59

Broad-winged Hawk-11

Red-tailed Hawk-3

Sharp-shinned Hawk-2

Cooper’s Hawk-1

Turkey Vulture-39

Northern Harrier-3

Posted by: jasonbojczyk | 31 October 2014

10-31 Raptors

Today’s Count: 194 

Broad-winged Hawk-44

Red-tailed Hawk-2

Swainson’s Hawk-2

Sharp-shinned Hawk-21

Cooper’s Hawk-17

Unknown Accipiter-1

Turkey Vulture-46

Black Vulture-48

American Kestrel-8

Peregrine Falcon-2

Unknown Falcon-1

Northern Harrier-2

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