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HawkFest 2015

September 20th, 2015

HawkFest 2015

This past weekend was the annual 2015 HawkFest at Lake Erie MetroPark in Brownstown Township, Michigan.  This annual event celebrates the migration of raptors from Canada as they cross the ‘land-bridge’ from Ontario to Michigan and continue their way to their winter resting grounds.   If the migration is timed correctly, and the weather is good, the migration of hundreds of thousands of hawks can be observed.  The weather this past Saturday was not the greatest for bird watching, raptor migrations, or outdoor nature events, but after the front cleared out the humidity and the rain, the afternoon turned out to be an enjoyable Saturday afternoon. The hawk flights picked up in the afternoon and raptors could be observed readily in the afternoon hours.  Several Osprey, Bald Eagles, and smaller accipiters could be observed from the main viewing area.  A small kettle of Broad-Winged Hawks formed over the nature center for a few brief minutes as nature enthusiasts looked on with binoculars.

A few club members, including myself spent time out in the trapping/banding blind catching Coopers Hawks and Sharp-shinned Hawks.  Each year, licensed bird banders trap, band, and collect measurements on the migrating raptors that traverse across the river to keep moving on from their northern territory.  The biggest migrating hawk by the numbers is  the Broad-Winged Hawk.  Members of the Michigan Hawking Club an other local nature organizations come to the HawkFest to share their love of raptors with others and enjoy all of nature’s gifts.  In addition, many members of the Michigan Hawking Club donate their time and expertise in Falconry to come to the event for the day to provide Hawk Talks to HawkFest attendees.

The picture below, taken by Krystal Hoag shows Cedar and myself presenting falconry lore to a few of the onlookers attending the event this past Saturday.  There were many folks who took in the celebration of raptor migration and on Sunday the Club Booth was well attended.  This is one of the tenants of the Michigan Hawking Club, to provide educational programs and ‘HawkTalks’  to interested attendees.

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