Thousands of raptors of 15 species are counted moving south each fall as they concentrate along the ridges overlooking Oneonta. The Franklin Mountain Hawk Watch began in 1989 as a survey of hawks and eagles migrating past the Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society’s wildlife sanctuary in the Town of Davenport. Volunteers count hawks, eagles and vultures passing the site on most days from late August through December. The site is noted for its flights of Golden Eagles and Red-tailed Hawks. In some years over 200 Golden Eagles and more than 2000 Red-tailed Hawks have been recorded passing the site on their way south. The best flights generally occur on days with north or northwest winds, usually following cold fronts.
On Saturday, October 5, 2013 from 10 AM to 2 PM, the Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society will host an open house at the sanctuary. At 10:30, there will be a 45 minute beginners workshop on Identifying Flying Hawks. A trail walk will leave the barn at 11:30 AM and will cover most of the sanctuary grounds.
At 1 PM Trisk Marki from The Wildlife Institute of Eastern New York will present a variety of live owls. This program is very interesting for birder watchers of any age. The hawk watch will be staffed through the day and refreshments will be served at the barn.
The sanctuary can be reached by taking Oneonta’s Main Street south across NY Route 28. After passing through the light, turn immediately left at the T onto Southside Drive. Turn right after 8/10 mile on Swart Hollow Road. Go 1 1/2 mile and take a sharp right on Grange Hall Road. After 2/10 mile, take a sharp left into the driveway, or park nearby on Grange Hall Road. The hawk watch is 100 yards up the hill from the barn.
The Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society will dedicate a bench and plaque at our wildlife sanctuary to recognize the great contributions of Jean and Bob Miller to the organization. As noted in last month’s Belted Kingfisher, Bob passed away in July of this year, and Jean in 2010. Both were among the founders of our Chapter and served in many capacities over four decades.
The dedication is scheduled for 9:30 a.m., Saturday, October 5, the day of our Open House at the Sanctuary. We invite all friends and colleagues of Bob and Jean to attend. In addition, DOAS is seeking donations for the bench and plaque in the Miller’s memory. These can be sent to: DOAS, PO Box 544, Oneonta, NY 13820.