Thursday, April 7, 2011

Hawk Migration at San Carlos

While waiting for their flight back to Managua at the San Carlos (Rio San Juan) airport on Wednesday, March 23, 2011, Klemens Steiof and Rob Batchelder observed tens of thousands of north-bound Turkey Vultures (Cathartes aura), Broad-winged Hawks (Buteo platypterus), and Swainson's Hawks (Buteo swainsoni). In the space of just one hour, large migrating flocks of these three species passed over the Rio San Juan and over the airport located to the northeast of the departmental capital of San Carlos. Turkey Vultures were the most abundant species, numbering in the thousands, while kettles of Broad-winged Hawks numbering in the hundreds were the second most abundant species. Individual Swainson's Hawks accompanying large flocks of the two aforementioned species were much smaller in number, but eventually one flock of more than 1,500 Swainson's crossed over the airfield heading north along the eastern shore of Lake Nicaragua.

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