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Area hawk watches begin Sept. 14

By Staff | Sep 9, 2016

Submitted photo A broad winged hawk is shown.

The Potomac Valley Audubon Society and the Washington County (Maryland) Bird Club will co-sponsor regular hawk watches at Maryland’s Washington Monument State Park on South Mountain this fall.

The first hawk watch will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 14, starting at 9:30 a.m. After that, starting Sept. 28, the watches will be held every Wednesday morning starting at 9:30 a.m., until Nov. 9.

These dates roughly encompass the period of the annual fall hawk migration, and the Washington Monument park offers an excellent vantage point to view these magnificent birds as they wend their way south for the winter.

The Sept. 14 and 28 dates, in particular, should make for good viewing because broad-winged hawks usually pass through this area in large numbers around that time.

All the fall hawk watches are free and open to anyone with an interest. Children are welcome if accompanied by an adult. However, space at the best viewpoints is limited and pre-registration is strongly encouraged.

Easy registration is available on the PVAS website at www.potomadcaudubon.org.

Participants should plan to meet Sandy Sagalkin, the watch leader, in the upper parking lot of the Park at 9:30 a.m. Each day’s watch will go until 12 noon, although participants will welcome to stay longer if they wish.

Participants should wear sturdy footwear, dress appropriately for the prevailing weather conditions and bring along drinking water and insect repellent. Binoculars will be available for anyone who needs them.

Hawk-watching is very weather sensitive because these birds do not fly in rain or snow. If it is certain that weather will force cancellation of any particular watch, those who have pre-registered will be notified of that cancellation by email no later than 6 p.m. the evening before.

For more information, contact Mr, Sagalkin at 240-291-6465 or sandy.sagalkin@gmail.com.