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August 2022

Vol. 50, No. 4

Notes from the Ground: Observations on Broad-winged Hawk Migration in Massachusetts and New England

Paul M. Roberts

Broad-winged Hawk by Brian Rusnica
Broad-winged Hawk. Photograph by Brian Rusnica.

Massachusetts birders are fortunate to live where they can view one of the greatest spectacles in the natural world: the daytime September migration of thousands of Broad-winged Hawks (Buteo platypterus) on their way from the eastern deciduous forest of North America to Central and South America. Nothing can adequately convey the awesome primal beauty of thousands of hawks spiraling ever higher in the heavens until they turn to glide to the southwest on silent wings. You need to see it live.

Here I discuss some of what I have learned over 48 years of marveling at and studying the migration of our most abundant diurnal raptor.

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