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Teaching About Raptors

08 July 2016 Written by
HawkWatch International loves nothing more than teaching people about raptors, and teaching is one of my favorite job duties as a HawkWatch Educator. This is somewhat ironic because when I was counting hawks for a living years ago, the last thing I wanted to do was talk to people...funny thing…

"Subspecies" vs. "Race"

05 July 2016 Written by
Interesting to me, I get asked quite often what the difference between the word “race” and “subspecies” is when talking about or discussing bird ID. Do the two words mean the same thing, or do they have two separate meanings? Basically, the words mean the same thing, but race is…

Tips for New Hawk Watchers

28 June 2016 Written by
As we head into July, it will only be a month or so until the first migrant raptors start to head south, so I wanted to post some tips for new hawk watchers as a heads up and something to bookmark as you become immersed in their new hobby. Seasoned…

Judging Size - Be Careful!!!

23 June 2016 Written by
We have all judged the size of a bird in the field, and still do! However, size alone as a trait for ID can be very misleading…and by ‘misleading’, I mean it can lead you to a misidentification very easily! It is similar to any identification scenario in birding, a…

Nesting No-no's

14 June 2016 Written by
Since it is summer and nesting season for birds, HawkWatch is receiving calls and questions pertaining to bird nests. So, we thought we'd discuss the best practices regarding approaching bird nests, or encountering fledgling birds. HawkWatch agrees with a 'no-nest' policy, meaning we never encourage anyone to approach an active…

Red-tailed Hawk Pitfall

08 June 2016 Written by
I wanted to post this older blog again since this discussion came up the other day... There is no doubt that the Harlan's race of the Red-tailed Hawk (bird #1) is the race that often shows mottled remiges (this defines the secondaries and primaries as one group -- "flight feathers" defines…