Saturday, October 06, 2007

Kettles are hot stuff

A few weeks ago, a friend was climbing Mt. Wachusett in central Massachusetts and witnessed a portion of the annual hawk migration, in which hundreds of hawks join together in circular updrafts on their way south. It sounded really special, and then on September 20 I saw a small version just off the MA Turnpike in Ludlow -- about 30-40 birds in an upwardly rising vortex. I mentioned this to a colleague at a meeting yesterday after she pointed out the grackles out the window on their migration, and she told me of stories of kettles of 65,000 hawks en route to Mexico. Hard to imagine until you look at this site, which also gives instructions on how you count the number of birds. My colleague also recommended Living on the Wind by Scott Weidensaul as an authoritative source on these matters, and I am pleased to pass along the suggestion to you.

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