Peak Raptor Migration at Gunsight Mountain

28 April 2021
Northern Harrier Northern Harrier

After receiving his vaccine, HWI Research Biologist Jesse Watson traveled to Alaska to join counters Arthur Green and Cory French at our northernmost HawkWatch, Gunsight Mountain. Jesse timed his visit in hopes of observing peak buteo (Red-tailed Hawk and Rough-legged Hawk) flight, and he was not disappointed!

 From April 11th - 19th, the crew witnessed incredible flights, observing 1,600 raptors of 7 different species and nearly doubling the season total up to that point! Golden Eagle numbers continued to climb, now over 500 more than Gunsight’s previous high count. Additionally, Red-tailed Hawk and Northern Goshawk numbers exceeded former site records! Following Jesse’s departure, the crew rounded out an exciting stint with a Short-eared Owl, only the 3rd in site history, and season firsts for Swainson’s Hawks and Peregrine Falcons!

 Check out the gallery to see Jesse’s Gunsight trip through his camera lens.

For more details on how the season is going, check out the full count below!

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