Not all Peregrines migrate. I've seen them at Dead Creek pretty
regularly in the dead of midwinter. Whether those are Snake Mountain
birds or northern birds that have moved in, there's no way of knowing.
Actually, among hawks, only the Broadwings vacate the premises, so to
speak, entirely. With every other hawk species, some stay behind, and
some that go south are replaced by more northerly breeders that move in
and consider VT their Florida winter quarters. New England may actually
have more resident Red-Tails, for example, in winter than we do in
Almost all birds are equipped to survive the northern winter climate.
So migration is driven primarily by the availability of food. Birds
that depend on nectar and/or insects must migrate. But others that eat
seeds and berries -- or other creatures -- can survive over most
winters. Some migrate, some don't. The ones that don't, and can
survive, are first on the breeding grounds to claim territory, so
there's some advantage to not migrating, though it's a gamble. Both
migrating and non-migrating strategies seem to work well enough to
perpetuate both patterns of behavior.
(I've never heard more than guesses for why Broad-Winged hawks all
migrate down to Central America to the last individual and literally
none stay on territory.)
On 11/19/2011 9:07 PM, Tom Jiamachello wrote:
> I took two friends to do some winter birding today. My friends Dan and Marie-
> Louise Couture and I were treated to some great hawks in the Dead Creek and
> Addison general area. We saw six Harriers and 2 red-tails. We were watching a
> male adult Northern Harrier on the ground on a kill through my scope and were
> amazed that we could see the bright yellow eye on the bird when we saw
> another bird glide in to perch on a tree near us. It took a minute to register but
> it was an adult Peregrine Falcon. We kept walking the scope forward and got
> within 300 of the bird. We watched the bird for a good ten minutes. What a
> The side road where we parked was right across the road from the house at
> 2439 Jersey Street South. We parked about 50 feet down that field road.
> Does anyone know of a sighting for a Peregrine Falcon this late? We thought
> perhaps this one might have come from nearby Snake Mountain.
> Tom Jiamachello
> Essex Junction
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