The Keweenaw Raptor survey kicked off the study of hawk migration over Brockway Mountain. The next study is called the Brockway Mountain Hawk Watch, organized by Copper Harbor Birding and Copper Country Audubon. We are aspiring to continue the study, 3 years at a time, over several consecutive years in order to obtain the long-term data necessary for comprehensive analysis.
The survey provides important information in the whole picture of current Raptor health and recovery from the deadly era of DDT usage when some species were headed for extinction, especially Eagles, Osprey, and Peregrine Falcons.
Many sites in the East, like Hawk Mountain in Pennsylvania, have had formal counts for over 30 years. Brockway Mountain is an important Midwest site. This count site provides important data contributing to the knowledge of raptor migration in the Lake Superior region, including the effects of climate change and lake-influenced weather patterns on birds of prey.
A count such as this requires that a professional Hawk Counter be hired annually, from April 15th to June 15th, to count and categorize 16 species of raptors, recording hourly counts, temperature, barometric readings, wind speed, direction, cloud types and cloud cover.
The data is then entered daily on the Hawk Migration Association of North America (HMANA) where it is compiled with other counts across the country to create a real-time database and promote scientific analysis as well as provide journals and seasonal reports. It is also posted on this blog.
Expenses include but are not limited to; housing the counter, pay for the counter and substitute counters, transportation up the mountain in early spring which requires a snowmobile and various supplies needed to conduct the survey.
We need the Brockway Mountain Hawk Watch! Please help support the continuation of this valuable research! Make out and send your checks to:
Copper Country Audubon Club
P.O. Box 124
Houghton, Michigan 49931
The Copper Country Audubon Club is a 501 (c)3 non-profit organization so your gifts are tax deductible.