Archive for March, 2010

So far….

The weather was quite pleasant today; highs around 18C with winds from the S 15-20 mph. At times it almost felt warm up there!

There were a number of firsts today: Turkey Vulture (1), Cooper’s Hawk (1), Red-shouldered Hawk (1), American Kestrel (1) and dark morph Rough-legged Hawk (1). Also recorded today were 98 Bald Eagles, 79 Red-tailed Hawks, 22 Northern Harriers, 3 Golden Eagles and 7 Rough-legged Hawks.

Not too much in the passerine department. A flock of about 15 Snow Buntings landed briefly in the first hour of the count.

There were quite a few visitors today, including several Copper Country Audubon Society members. It was great to have more eyes on the busiest day (so far). The weather looks good for the next couple of days, so hopefully the movement continues!


Red-tailed Hawk- 29 March by Skye Haas

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Yesterday was very windy! Average wind speeds were in the high 20’s, with gusts over 50 MPH.

The flight was heaviest midday (about 11-1). About 40 Bald Eagles flew through, most went right through the valley. 8 Red-tails were also recorded as well as a single Golden Eagle and male Northern Harrier.

Perhaps due to the strong winds at the peak, passerines were nearly non-existant. However, in the 2nd hour a Western Meadowlark suddenly appeared in front of me. It hid on the leeward side of the hill for about an hour.

More south winds today. Hopefully it’s a little calmer!


I couldn't keep my scope upright in the winds even strapped to a 30 lb office chair!

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Goldens Galore!

Weather: High 3C; winds primarily from the South to SSE; mostly sunny

There was a fair deal of movement today. It was definitely the biggest Red-tailed Hawk and Golden Eagle day of the year. The count ended with 25 Red-tailed Hawks, at least 5 different Golden Eagles, 2 Merlins and about 40 Bald Eagles. The local ravens did a good job of chasing the Golden’s out of the valley (below). The day also ended with over 50 Common Ravens.

We were treated to lunch today of fresh-grilled (on the mountain!) by Don from Dollar Bay. A great and much appreciated break from the PB&J. So if you’re coming up the mountain to visit, don’t be afraid to follow Don’s lead! Also, Bill and Bonnie from the Tamarack Inn of Copper Harbor¬† stopped by. It’s great to have company up there.

South winds continue through the week, so hopefully some more species will blow in.

Juvenile Golden Eagle chased by Common Raven. Photo by Skye Haas.

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Howdy all,

Bald Eagles were really moving today with a high count of 66 birds headed east up the Keweenaw. Things were pretty slow for the first part ofthe day, but the second half of the count had these pulses of eagles moving up the ridge. Several times there were kettles of a dozen or more Bald Eagles over the count shack. The only other raptors seen were singles each of Northern Goshawk and Golden Eagle. Common Ravens were also streaming through with a total of 44 for the afternoon.  A flock of 13 Canada Geese crossing the Lake Medora gap were the first waterfowl for the season and a total of 5 Bohemian Waxwings were also seen.

Bald Eagle

I spent some time birding around Copper Harbor this evening, an American Tree Sparrow in Wescoat’s field was a returning migrant, and a Merlin was patrolling town. Perhaps the most interesting sighting of the day was a 1st cycle Great Black-backed Gull by the Herring Gull rookery in the harbor, this is only the 3rd County record.


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Howdy all,

Interesting day on the Mountain- south winds, but the birds were late in arriving. The day started out pretty blustery and cold, but by the end of the day the wind died down and a small but steady stream of eagles began to drift down the ridge. Totals included 20 Bald Eagles, 2 Golden Eagles, 3 Red-tails, a nice adult Goshawk and the first Merlin of the season.

First Merlin!

Passerines were kept down by the wind, but a Robin came by at the end of the day and a flock of unidentified finches chose to fly through when we were looking at the Goshawk. More south winds tomorrow, could be good as long as it doesn’t rain (or snow)!

Golden Eagle

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Shut Out

Today winds were strong from the north, gusts over 20 MPH, temps were around -15C, and visibility was less than 5 miles due to blowing snow for the 2 hours I was on the mountain.

Needless to say, there was nothing moving. But the shack sure was nice for those two hours (thanks Joe Y)!

Tomorrow is supposed to be warmer, with south winds. So hopefully there’ll be some movement.


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Just a few notes from yesterday, the 24th:

Nearly 20 Bald Eagles, 6 Red-tails,2 Goshawks, 2 Golden Eagles and Another male Northern Harrier.

I’m expecting the third species of buteo any day now, but I’m not expecting much today. Highs forecast for today are 29F, with 20+ MPH winds!

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Weather: High 9C; Winds were predominantly S until the last two hours when they switched around to the N

Today was probably the most diverse day for raptors. A whopping 6 species! Another male Harrier floated through in the second hour as well as a juvenile Rough-legged. Other species seen today include Bald Eagles (25), Sharp-shinned (1), 2 Red-tails and 2 Golden Eagles.

Also today I heard the first Sandhill Cranes of the count, though never saw how many flew through. 4 Robins flew through in a hurry in the first hour and a single Snow Bunting (below) stayed on the summit for about an hour.

Snow Bunting

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First Red-tails

Howdy all,

Just a quick note for this evening. Joe Youngman covered the count for Max (who successfully defended his masters thesis today- congratulations Max!).

Joe reports it was windy but good, the first Red-tailed Hawks went by today (n-3), and he had about 50 eagles, including 1 Golden Eagle.

Stay tuned for the next exciting installment of the Brockway blog.

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Weather: COLD! -5C today; winds N around 10 mph. Yesterday the 19th was overcast with occasional snow, today was mostly sunny.

The last 2 days have been pretty slow up on the mountain. 10 Bald Eagles between both days. The male Northern Harrier was up at the top again yesterday, but wasn’t hanging around today. In the 4th hour today, an adult Golden Eagle flew through, headed west.

There have been a couple flocks of Snow Buntings and Bohemian Waxwings around all week as well.

I’ve been posting more photos to the Facebook page. I think it should be accessible to anyone at this address:


If not, I will try to post more photos here. For now, here is a photo of the view to the west from my “office.” You really can’t beat the view!

Winds tomorrow are supposed to be out of the southwest, so hopefully there will be a little more action!

View to the west. Lake Bailey and Eagle Harbor in the distance.

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