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Lots of rough-legged hawks over Hawk Ridge

Nov 06, 2017 08:28AM ● Published by Editor

From The Duluth News Tribune - November 5, 2017

October was a banner month for rough-legged hawks at Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory in Duluth, according to Hawk Ridge officials. More than 800 rough-legged hawks were counted in October, and as of Thursday, the count was up to 934. The record for rough-legged hawks at Hawk Ridge was 1,026 for an entire season in 1994.

Banders at Hawk Ridge banded a record 24 rough-legged hawks in October, said Frank Nicoletti, banding director at the observatory. By Thursday, the banding total of rough-legged hawks was up to 27, he said.

A total of 330 rough-legged hawks were counted in a single day in October, the fourth-highest single-day total ever in North America, said Clinton Nienhaus, education director at Hawk Ridge. A location in Ontario holds the North American record for most rough-leggeds counted in one day with more than 1,000 counted, he said.

"Typically, the big rough-legged flights are in November," Nienhaus said. "The fact that we're seeing so many in October is amazing."

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