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Acadia National Park Hawk Watch Underway

Photo courtesy of Acadia National Park

If you’re someone who searches the skies for signs of hawks, ospreys, or other birds of prey, you might want to join the Hawk Watch at Acadia National Park. Starting today, park rangers will join with volunteers to document the number of these large birds that migrate through the park.

Raptor expert Angi King Johnson says, when conditions are right, you can see a lot of birds.

“They are very energy efficient birds, and they are only going to fly when those conditions are just right. And those conditions are often after a cold front when we have a nice crisp north wind and they will use that as a tail wind,” King says. “When we have a good north wind and nice clear day, we could see, oftentimes, 100, 200, even 300 birds in a six-hour period.”

She says those numbers are then passed along to the Hawk Migration Association of North America.

“We report it to a national database, so we are contributing to the raptor population index. That really gives an overall view of how these birds are doing, nationally and internationally, which is really important to conservation of these raptors, that have almost completely disappeared in the past,” King explained. “We hope that that never happens again and so this counting and monitoring is very important for conservation.”

Anyone interested in taking part should head down the Cadillac North Ridge Trail, on the top of Cadillac Mountain. The Hawk Watch takes place from 9am to 2pm Monday through Friday until October 15th, weather permitting.

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