2020 Summer BB Raptor Watch
Species composition changes over time depending on weather, seasons, and many other factors. This chart displays the composition over a time period you select.
Click on pie pieces to see more detail. If there are more than seven species, click on "Other" to see a breakdown of the rest.
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The graph shows the overall volume seen on each day. You can drag the sliders on each side of this graph to adjust the start and end dates.
July 15th to December 31st
The time shown in the top row is the start of the one hour period.
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These charts show which species are most numerous at different parts of the season. Hover your mouse over a chart to see the number for a given day. The right column shows season totals and the left side shows the maximum for a single day. Each graph is scaled so that the single-day maximum is the highest point on the chart.
- Focus Species: Show the highest priority species at the top of the list.
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- Abundance: Sort the species with the largest number counted at the top.
2020 Summer BB Raptor Watch
In addition to being one of the best spring raptor migration sites on the continent, Braddock Bay is also home to a unique concentration of raptors in late summer. This is the result of the natal dispersal of several species, but primarily Red-tailed Hawks (Buteo jamaicensis). Natal dispersal is defined as a permanent movement away from an animal’s birth site, or in the case of birds, their nesting site. In late summer, young raptors are chased away from the nesting territory by their parents. During this time, and prior to fall migration for some species, hawks and other raptors are wandering about the landscape, finding their way in the world to a new territory. In our area, just like in the spring, southerly winds can bring many of those raptors to Braddock Bay, following the Lake Ontario shore in the same manner. Late summer natal dispersal flights have been documented for decades at Braddock Bay, but not in as consistent of a manner as the spring migration flights. Plans for a more official summer count began in the fall of 2018, and were implemented for the first time in the summer of 2019. The primary goal of this count is to document the magnitude of the natal dispersal of Red-tailed Hawks through the Braddock Bay area by following a consistent data collection protocol. A secondary goal is to document the occurrence of other raptor species during this time frame as well. Braddock Bay is at a point on the southern shore of Lake Ontario where the lakeshore abruptly turns southeast for 7.5 miles. This location concentrates raptors that are migrating east along the southern shore of Lake Ontario and who are attempting to go around the Great Lakes rather than pass over them. As these birds move east along the Lake Ontario shore, they suddenly find themselves with water not only to the north, but to their east as well. Their options are to fly over Lake Ontario, or to follow the shoreline to the east. The latter is the most efficient, so they tend to concentrate at a point 300 yards on shore and 2 miles after the shoreline takes the first turn south from the east. This is BBRR’s main hawkwatch site. Optimum conditions for flights at Braddock Bay occur when there are strong southerly winds, 12 miles per hour or more, accompanied by rising temperatures. These conditions occur when a low-pressure system approaches from the west and passes to the north of Lake Ontario, or when a warm air mass moves from the Gulf of Mexico.
The Braddock Bay hawkwatch is located in Braddock Bay Park, 199 East Manitou Road, Greece, NY 14612 which is right off of the Lake Ontario State Parkway. Travelling west (from 390 North) on the parkway take the 2nd exit for East Mantou Road/Braddock Bay Park. Turn right onto East Manitou Road. The entrance to Braddock Bay Park is the first left after turning onto East Manitou Road. When you come to a “T” in the road, turn right and follow the park road. The hawk watch platform is ahead on the left.
Braddock Bay Raptor Research
Braddock Bay Raptor Research (BBRR) is a 501(c)-3 non profit, volunteer based organization. Founded in 1986, BBRR has been continuously working towards preserving the area’s natural resources by focusing research and education activities on the spectacular spring raptor migration, and summer natal dispersal. Research at Braddock Bay focuses on a range of topics important to conservation efforts, including the daily and seasonal distribution of raptors according to species, age and sex, and the behavior of raptors in migration. Educational programs are offered throughout the year and aim to expose people to the wonderful world of raptors through field experiences as well as off site visits.
About the Data
All data displayed on this site are preliminary and have not yet undergone quality control. Written permission is required to use the data.