November is traditionally one of the best months for eagle watching. On November 4, migratory conditions were ideal along the ridges of the Wapack Range, producing 38 Bald Eagles during a six-hour watch from the summit of Mount Watatic. An above-average six Golden Eagles were reported in November. According to Paul Roberts, founder of the New England Hawk Watch, there was an unusually heavy movement of Golden Eagles early in the season throughout eastern North America. Early and heavy snowfall in eastern Canada and northern New England were likely contributors to the higher than usual numbers. Most sightings of this species are typically flybys, with birds unlikely to stick around. Breaking tradition was a bird photographed at Dunback Meadow, Lexington, that was present for two days. The Greenfield Christmas Bird Count (CBC) tallied a record 27 Bald Eagles on December 30, almost double the previous high set in 2017. Other noteworthy raptor reports included a high count of 16 Red-shouldered Hawks over Mount Watatic, Rough-legged Hawks from nine locations with three present most of December on Plum Island, and a late Osprey in Marshfield on December 26.
This was another good flight year for Snowy Owls with reports from 11 coastal locations. The first Snowy Owl of the period was noted from Cuttyhunk Island on November 1, nearly two weeks before the others began appearing. Norman Smith tallied 10 Snowy Owls and banded four during the Greater Boston CBC on December 16. Barred Owls were reported from over 35 locations, many of them in poor condition; they could be seen hunting during the day, a behavior typically associated with extreme hunger. Not surprisingly, many were found along roadways, victims of vehicle collisions. The highlight for the period was the discovery of a Boreal Owl on Nantucket, the first sighting in the state since a bird found in Topsfield on January 28, 2017.