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Swainson’s Hawks in Borrego Springs/And Millions of Grasshoppers

Swainson’s Hawks in Borrego Springs/And Millions of Grasshoppers

By {authorlink} – 9:03 pm

Today we only counted 268 migrant Swainson’s Hawks. We believe that at least 350 or more hawks are still in town, drawn to the abundant buffet of grasshoppers. The town of Borrego Springs is overrun with the hoppers. At approximately 7:25pm this evening hundreds of hawks once again flew into the Date Farm. Because there still was a brisk NW wind, the hawks spent time kiting (holding in place with slight wing movement). Kiting uses less energy than being buffeted by the wind on a limb and keeping balanced. Hawks are now actively feeding on grasshoppers in open fields along DiGiorgio Rd. They are also feeding in the east potato field. Tomorrow with a very light breeze, the hawks will leave the Date Farm roost early to continue feeding. Migration will begin between 8:45 and 9:30am. We believe the hawks are now well fed and will continue migration. We expect many large kettles to form. In addition to the hawks that are now in town for a few days, new hawks arrived late this evening. So once again we expect a nice show tomorrow evening (hawks that will remain another day in town). Best viewing tomorrow will be on Borrego Valley Rd 1.8 miles north of Palm Canyon Drive (across from the Date Farm). Driving a bit further on Borrego Valley Rd might put you in a good position for photographs. However, if the wind shifts to the East as predicted at 9am, expect the hawks to kettle up and cross Di Giorgio Rd and go west. You might be able to view hawks on the ground feeding and then taking off from the Di Giorgio area. If we are lucky, the hawks will fly directly over the official count site off of Di Giorgio Rd.

Hal Cohen

Borrego Springs