The migratory flight of raptors at the Florida Keys Hawkwatch has been studied since 1989. In recent years, the hawkwatch has been deemed The Peregrine Falcon Migration Capital of the World. Last year, they counted 3,792 Peregrine Falcons and a total of 19,656 raptors.
At the Florida Keys Hawkwatch, you can expect to see large numbers of migratory Osprey, Broad-winged Hawks, and American Kestrels. This year, the count started on August 1st and will run through the end of November, adding two more months of data than previous years. The main purpose for starting the count on August 1st is to count migratory Swallow-tailed Kites. There is very little migration data on the kites.
In addition to Swallow-tailed Kites, the Florida Keys Hawkwatch is the only place in the United States with flights of Short-tailed Hawks. The data collected on both the Short-tailed Hawk and Swallow-tailed Kite is invaluable when it comes to making conservation decisions.
Luis Gles, Mariah Hryniewich, and Rafael Galvez are the counters for the 2021 season. Luis is an avid birder, bird guide in Miami, and hardcore phonescoper. Mariah works full-time in retail outside of hawk counting season. She spends her spare time and vacations birding throughout the world. Rafael is a guide for Victor Emanuel Nature Tours and an accomplished bird artist.
This year, Phone Skope is a corporate sponsor of the Florida Keys Hawkwatch. We are proud and excited to support the ongoing migration counting effort in the Florida Keys.