So, last year for hawk banding, we did not even crack 100 in the entire season. This season - only two weekends into it - we are at 82 birds already! We had 30 last weekend, and a whopping 52 this weekend. We had 12 on Sat and 40 on Sunday. Frank said it was a record - the previous days' record at 36 or 37. We had mostly Shins again, but we did get a merlin, and another person banding up our way had a peregrine come in that he didn't band, but brought it up to our blind. In all the years I have been involved (14!) I had not banded a peregrine. I did this one! What a handsome boy! The first photo is the merlin, and the last four of the peregrine.
Interesting note (confirmed by Frank Nicoletti, a true hawk counting and banding legend) - as with most species, the HY (hatch year, or juvenile) birds will start to mvoe before the adults will. The female Shins move first before the males, too. Our first weekend, we saw only a few males, and banded only a couple. This past weekend, it was way more even with males and females, with the HY birds still outnumbering the adults by a ways.