Rock Cut State Park Hawk Watch – 2011

October 15, 2011 at Olson Beach, Rock Cut State Park, Winnebago County, Illinois

Cooper's Hawk
Cooper’s Hawk in flight (birdfreak.com file photo)

About ten to twelve members of the NCIOS turned out at Rock Cut State Park on Saturday morning with the purpose of counting migrating hawks. It was a sunny morning but a brisk wind over Olson Lake kept Bird Club members huddled in their windbreakers, hats, and yes, even gloves.

Hawks counted (not exact figures—this Counter had to leave before the Count was officially over):

  • 10 Red-tailed (at least one juvenile)
  • 6 Sharp-shinned
  • 5 Cooper’s

Three of the Red-tails were probably residents, but we don’t know for sure.

In addition to the hawks that were counted, NCIOS members observed 2 Great-blue Herons, 2-3 Ring-billed Gulls, 1 Pied-bill Grebe, 1 White-tailed Deer drinking from the lake, plus numerous Turkey Vultures, Tree Swallows, crows, and starlings (some of whom were harassing the Red-tails.)

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