Weekdays provide a smaller crowd (9 people today) and a nicer chance to learn and socialize with others who do this often and have done it for many years. Today was all about sharp-shinned hawks, or "sharpies" as they are affectionately known, and Broadwing hawks.
In my trek up to Hook Mountain I got caught a little off path, but with some common sense and google maps, I found my way up to the overlook, marked by "the owl," a decoy owl that attracts hawks in to the vicinity. Once you see the owl, you know you've made it.
|Sharpie coming in after the decoy owl. The sharp-shinned hawks were plentiful and entertaining today.|
|Same bird as above.|
|We had all three falcon species today, the American Kesterel (above), merlin, and peregrine falcon, which I got to observe in a full on, impressive stoop down toward the Hudson River below.|
|We also saw this guy, he waved hello.|
|Broadwing hawks were very high and almost seemed like specks. Shape and that banded tail and dark outline of the wings were the markings that identified this species for us.|
|When 2 sharpies got close there would always be an interaction, with chasing, diving, and close fly-bys.|
|Got lots of views of turkey and black vultures.|
|Saw 2 mature and this one raggedy immature bald eagle. He was in the area quite a bit, and flying in the wrong direction- probably a local bird.|