A Diversity of Migrants at the Grand Canyon

04 October 2017
Cooper's Hawk, juvenile Cooper's Hawk, juvenile

Text by Earl Johnson

It's peak season here at the Grand Canyon HawkWatch and the birds are continuing to move through. Some great birders from the Prescott Audubon Society braved the weather on September 27th and came up to see some migrant raptors. As always, it was a blast to have such an enthusiastic group of visitors! Over the last couple of weeks we've had many visitors from all over Arizona coming up looking for Broad-winged Hawks, and we have been fortunate not to have had to send too many people away disappointed.

Thus far, we're above historical averages of Osprey as well as Swainson's and Broad-winged Hawks, but are still hoping for a bigger push of Sharp-shinned, Cooper's and Red-tailed Hawks in the weeks ahead. We had our first Northern Goshawk of the season on September 30th and our first Prairie Falcon the day after! Just yesterday (October 3) we counted our 2000th migrant of the season, which ended up being our 4th Merlin of the year! October 1st was a fun, American Kestrel filled day watching 63 of these small falcons rip past the site in relatively strong winds until around sunset!

It's still a great time to visit the site and over the last week we've averaged more than 100 migrants every day. Can't wait to see what the coming week will bring!

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