HawkArtScience: Hawksaloft.com blog

25 February 2019

"Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?"
Mary Oliver (1935-2019)

Why final?? With this tenth edition, I think I've said all I came here to say on this subject. I will continue to watch radar for hawks and other migration, but new insights from me are unlikely.
Also this time: an array of raptor images of mine posted elsewhere, news on changing winds, a mystery raptor, the Peregrine mega-flightline, an Osprey's journey, and the words of the recently departed Mary Oliver.

Hawks onNEXRAD
I first learned about hawks on radar, that I remember, was from the Texas BW site. A guy there was getting the radar using coding… so before simple access via websites and later mobile apps. While I was in attendance at the first HMANA Conference in 1974, I didn't recall that weather radar talk. Recently I put that presenter's findings in one of my posts.

In addition, my weather page has several of my first screen captures. One shows hawks moving along Lake Ontario in mid-August. It is inland and was not seen from Derby Hill, although there was an observer at the S lookout that day. The hawkline can be seen after it turns the corner, a little disjointed but there. These are almost all juvenile Redtails recently hatched in the Ohio River Valley.


Other Hawk and Migratory News
Many of us are aware of the thousand Peregrine days observed in the Florida Keys. The flight is high, in preparation for the water crossing. Here's a nice article on the birds and observers.

Semi-related to the Keys, the Fall movement of Ospreys to South America is a fun lesson in first trips S. Also when and where, or if, water crossings happen is fun information for the hawkwatcher. Again using the Animal Tracker app, here's an Osprey migration route leaving Florida. In the Fall, this bird moves along Cuba over the DR, then crossing into South America. On the return flight, the line is direct to Cuba and back into the US. Using the app you can replay any of their birds for two weeks or a year.


"According to a new study, migratory birds in Europe and Canada have substantially advanced the timing of their spring migration due to climate change. The average migratory bird has advanced its spring migration by approximately one week in five decades, and the duration of the migration season has increased."

"We looked at data from thousands of eBird observers and 11 weather radar stations along the Gulf Coast from 1995 to 2015," says lead author Kyle Horton, an Edward W. Rose Postdoctoral Fellow at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. "We calculated that an average of 2.1 billion birds crosses the entire length the Gulf Coast each spring as they head north to their breeding grounds. Until now, we could only guess at the overall numbers from surveys done along small portions of the shoreline."

A range-wide domino effect and resetting of the annual cycle in a migratory songbird. "We examined geographical variation
in timing of events throughout the year using light-level geolocator tracking data from 133 migratory tree swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) originating from 12 North American breeding populations."


"The green darner dragonfly, Anax junius, embarks on a rigorous, multi-generational migratory relay race up and down North America every year that largely goes unnoticed, according to a new study published in the journal Biology Letters."

From a wildlife cam trained on a deer carcass we have an eagle image. Initially confounding, but with persistence and expert observers from North America and Europe we come up with a weird Golden Eagle as the answer. Note the apparent lack of golden mantle and the odd supercilium line that runs from the nose down the neck. All this and the oddly small narrow bill for an eagle are the results of the wildlife cam resolution, or lack thereof. There was only the one image captured.

Over the last year Professor Emeritus Jerry Coyne, evolutionary biology at U of Chicago, has put several photo arrays of my images on his site. The species are: Golden Eagle, Rough-legged Hawk, Northern Goshawk, Red-shouldered Hawk, Northern Harrier, Peregrine Falcon and Bald Eagle. I have a link to those raptor arrays here.

On the Wind
On the weather front, a new broad study shows the overall decline in wind. "The results show that surface wind speeds were decreasing in the past four decades over most regions in the Northern Hemisphere."

To accompany this, here's a refresher for the hawkwatcher teacher.

Also: "A new way to understand sea breezes using sophisticated forecasting methods could make offshore wind farms a more predictable source of energy."

Plus: "Wind turbines don't just wallop birds that collide with their spinning blades, they also shift where birds choose to fly and land. A new study shows that wind farms in the German North Sea have squeezed loons into a smaller resting spot along their spring migration route, which could make it harder for them to find food."

In Other News
These 4 charts illustrate how valuable nonprofits are to the U.S. economy. The nonprofit sector is now responsible for 10% of all private jobs in the US.

Famous February Birthdays. Did you know that Charles Darwin & Abraham Lincoln not only share a birthday, but a year: 12 February 1809! Ansel Adams, photographer and conservationist, on 20 February 1902. In black and white he said, "There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer."

Two poets won Pulitzers in the 20th Century, writing completely about Nature: Gary Snyder for Turtle Island and Mary Oliver for American Primitive. She passed away in January. She believed in simple, accessible poems. Every major news outlet and magazine did an obit; some ran a second piece on her writings.
First here's a personal reflection from a young student newspaper columnist.
YANDAVA | Pay Attention, Be Astonished


Here are a couple from the big publications.

And a longer remembrance.

I was thirty years old when I figured out how to read poetry. I was into Gary Snyder, Marge Piercy, and Robinson Jeffers when an intern gifted me a copy of American Primitive.


Early winter self-portrait.
[11 December 2018, Chaumont NY]

"... the problem of man's relation to nature raises the problem of man's relation
to woman – a matter about which the spiritually minded members of our own culture
have been significantly squeamish."
Alan Watts, Nature, Man & Woman (1991)




They've got the urge for going, and
they've got the wings so they can go.

— Joni Mitchell

Hawk•art•science blog
Truth and beauty. Art and science. Entries here will be on that flightline, although I will stray from the hawk-part on occasion, or will I? I aiming this beast at hawkheads and/or the young seasonal revolutionary biologists. It's for the flexible and young-at-heart too.
Comments, questions, excited utterances, and/or exasperated afterthoughts from you, dear reader, are welcome and will receive a reply. — Tom Carrolan
(Image above: "Recent self-portrait No.3, 2009")

Original recipe Hawksaloft.com
The Hawksaloft.com website was launched in 1997, following three years of printed handbills, plus numerous emails, all voicing my alt.hawkwatching ideas in New England. If you've been here before, the original site is archived in all its old-timey graphic glory. To navigate the old way, just click on Psychedelia the Hawk Owl and be transported back in time... trippy. Any bookmarks or links found anywhere online still work.

Not everything that counts can be counted and
not everything that can be counted counts.

— Albert Einstein