I snapped the packet of pepper with my fingers before ripping it open to pour the tiny black specks onto my pea soup. In the process some pepper spilled onto the cafeteria table. Stirring the soup, waiting for it to cool, I brushed the pepper into a small cloud; then ran my finger through it to simulate winds, creating a kettle of hawks. I was missing the single biggest migration of hawks on the planet. Broad-winged hawks gather in large flocks to migrate together down from the north adding more and more birds until there is a river of raptors in the tens of thousands flowing past Veracruz, Mexico. One day I want to see that spectacle. But for now, a small piece of that is happening along the ridges of the north.
I, however, was at work.
Mount Peter had a terrific day yesterday wth 4222 kettling Broad-winged Hawks, like the finest grind of a quality black pepper. The watchers on the platform carefully counted them as they flowed to the south. Today another 3564 flew past. I was still at work. But I get the reports and can vicariously revel in the numbers and see them in my mind’s eye. Broad-winged hawks travel 70 miles a day. Hopefully some of them will have nested way, way in the north and will still be making there way south by the weekend. I will be on the platform craning my neck wishing them fair winds and good speed.