Friday, November 22, 2013

2,990,894 raptors!

Oh Yeah!, that awesome count is the number of migrant raptors that flew over one single spot in Panama City, the Ancon Hill, during the last season... starting October 1st and ending after 49 days.
These numbers are simply mind-blowing!  In fact, this number is higher than last year season by one million of birds approximately.  The two millions mark was reached in the first 30 days of count.  Some of those "other hawks" can be seen in this post.
The results were announced by the Panama Audubon's Society (PAS) yesterday in an event that congregated members and old friends.  Two of the main hawk counters, Venicio "Beny" Wilson and Ariel Aguirre (both well recognized bird guides too) were the hosts for the night.
After presenting a nice video, filmed and edited by Xavier Lasso with testimonials and cuts of the flights (recalled me my own video published elsewhere), PAS' Executive Director Rosabel Miro showed some interesting pictures of the hawk count site in the summit of Ancon Hill and several examples of how this last season was so important.  Several newspaper articles and TV clips appeared in the media showing the migrant hawks and explaining some facts about this phenomena to the general public.  Before dinner, Karl Kaufmann explained that this amazing number was the result of favorable NW winds, clear days and less rain over Ancon Hill than in previous days, plus more interesting facts.
It is important to note that this is an underestimate.  Sometimes, the raptors flying low over Panama City were simply invisible for the hawk counters in the hill due to fog or rain... so certainly, more than THREE MILLIONS raptors flew over our heads!  Man, I love this city!    

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