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Swainson’s Hawks/ Turkey Vultures in Borrego Springs March 12

7:34 pm

This evening, Tuesday March 12, just over 100 Swainson’s Hawks and probably 150 Turkey Vultures were observed near the Road Runner Club. Most of the hawks may have flown to the Date Farm, 1.8 miles north of Palm Canyon Drive on Borrego Valley Rd. They will probably roost in Eucalyptus Trees. The Turkey Vultures have remained in the Road Runner Club. We expect the hawks to take off early with the predicted wind over 9mph. Hopefully they will begin to aerial feed on Crane Flies. If so, the hawks will not leave the valley until after 9am. We are now finding grasshoppers and Sphinx Moth Caterpillars in the flower fields. Hawk numbers could increase markedly if the insects show up in numbers. Best viewing is from Borrego Valley Rd near the Date Farm. If the wind does not develop, the hawks could remain in roost sites until 8 or 8:30am. More information for the rest of the season is available (ALERT system) at Raptorhal3@… The ALERT is triggered when more than 100 Swainson’s Hawks enter Borrego Valley. We now have counted over 600 hawks for the season. The hawk numbers peak from mid March to early April. However if we have a huge grasshopper invasion the season could be extended to late April. Last season over 16,000 Swainson’s Hawks were counted. 

Hal Cohen
Borrego Springs, CA