Magazine article Sunset

A Hawk in the Hand

Magazine article Sunset

A Hawk in the Hand

Article excerpt

It's one thing to admire hawks soaring overhead. It's quite another to hold one in your hand. The red-tailed hawk in mine watched me with yellow eyes. For such a large bird-with a wingspan of 4 feet-it seemed incredibly light. Minutes before, researchers had captured, measured, weighed, and banded the bird. It was now my turn to set it free.

This redtail was one of nearly 21,000 hawks, eagles, falcons, and other raptors studied by HawkWatch International's Goshute Mountains Raptor Migration Project in eastern Nevada last fall. From August to November, the researchers study the passing birds from the 9,200-foot ridgetop. The migration's peak is mid-September to mid-October; on September 27, 2001, a record 2,198 birds soared by the station.

The birds migrate annually from breeding areas as far north as Alaska to feeding grounds as far south as Argentina. HawkWatch operates 16 such stations nationwide, but the best place to see migrating raptors in the West is the Goshute Mountains. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.