Backyard Almanac - hawks and handsaws - weather and migration

Sep 29, 2017

Yellow-bellied sapsucker
Credit ©Sparky Stensaas. Used with permission.

"I am but mad north-north-west. When the wind is southerly, I know a hawk from a handsaw." ~ Wm. Shakespeare, "Hamlet"

Whether or not Hamlet had spent any time at Hawk Ridge is a question for another time, but experienced birders know a northwesterly wind is best for seeing birds at what has become an internationally-recognized place to see migration.

Peregrine falcon
Credit ©Sparky Stensaas. Used with permission.

This week's northwesterly winds brought a lot of warblers and Hawk Ridge Education Director Clint Nienhaus says they broke the previous record sightings of yellow-bellied sapsuckers by 150 birds or more.

But the rain and the southerly winds expected Sunday could bring a gift in the form of peregrine falcons the next day.