Hawkwatching season is here!
Wild Bird Supply
One, Suite 10
Jeannette and Derek Lovitch
Hawkwatching season is here! Freeport Wild Bird Supply (FWBS) will once
again sponsor the Spring Hawkwatch at Bradbury Mountain State Park in Pownal,
beginning on March 15th.
2017 marks the eleventh consecutive season for this project through which
valuable data is collected while providing an enjoyable and educational
experience for visitors.
This year, we welcome Zane Baker as our official Hawkcounter. Zane lives in
North Yarmouth, and has been a regular volunteer with this project since 2012.
He’ll be stationed at the summit from 9:00am to 5:00pm daily from March 15th to May 15th.
Rising 485 feet above the southern coastal plain, Bradbury Mountain provides
unimpeded views to the south and east all the way to the islands of Casco Bay.
Whether using updrafts off the mountain, gliding overhead, or soaring over the
plains, observers watch raptors utilizing a variety of migratory methods as
they work their way north. The goal of the project is to document this
migration by identifying and counting all raptors that pass by the
mountain. On average, we see over 1,500 Broad-winged Hawks, 400 Osprey,
and 75 Bald Eagles, among others in a season. Bradbury Mountain is also a
fantastic place to view Red-shouldered Hawks, a species that is difficult to
see when nesting in summer. Over a period of years, these data can be analyzed
to determine trends in species numbers as well as changes in distributions,
which when studied in conjunction with other monitoring sites across the
continent, give us a broadscale idea of what is happening with raptor
But, it is not just about the numbers. Hawkwatching is a very social
activity that is accessible to birders of all abilities. Last spring, we
interacted with more than 1100 visitors! Seeing your first kettle (group
of birds rising up on an updraft or thermal) of 50+ Broad-winged Hawks, or
learning how to tell the difference between a Bald Eagle and a Turkey Vulture
several miles away is an eye-opening experience for many folks. Organized
hawkwatch sites, like Bradbury Mountain, are great places to meet new people
and learn about raptors and the conservation issues they face at the same time.
So, grab your binoculars and join us atop Bradbury Mountain this spring.
Zane will gladly answer questions about the raptors you will see and help
visitors learn what to look for to identify the 18 species that may pass
by. The hawkwatch is free, though there is an entry fee to the park.
Also, be sure to mark your calendar for Feathers Over Freeport: A
Birdwatching Weekend on April 29th – 30th. The Hawkwatch will be one
of many featured activities during this family-oriented event at Bradbury
Mountain and Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Parks.
Wild Bird Supply is a retail store, located at 541 Route One in Freeport that
specializes in products that enhance the appreciation and enjoyment of wild
birds, birding, and nature. It is a fully independent store, locally
owned and operated by Jeannette and Derek Lovitch of Pownal. See www.freeportwildbirdsupply.com
for more information, and more information about the hawkwatch can be found at: