Raptors in flight bring a sense of wonder and struggle to birders, especially when it comes to identifying them at a distance. Field marks are not enough when back-lit conditions and birds miles out lack any color. Flight ID has long been the best way to identify raptors at a distance, however books only take it so far. Join hawk watcher and photographer Josh Haas as he shares the principles of raptor ID featuring video clips from his movie “Hawks on the Wing” and explains why our local site, the Detroit River Hawk Watch, is a raptor migration mecca.
Josh Haas first developed a love for hawks working with the birds of prey at the Kalamazoo Nature Center. A hawk watching trip to Lake Erie Metropark opened his eyes to raptors in migration. Perplexed by seeing specks at a distance with an overwhelming itch to know what they were, he started learning from veteran hawk watchers and was hooked. He would end up spending seven Fall seasons working with the Detroit River Hawk Watch as a relief counter. There he honed his skills and developed a love for teaching visitors unique ways of telling the shadowy specs apart.
Presented virtually via Zoom on September 16, 2020.