As spring migration for warblers fast approaches, everyone is looking for a reason to get outside. Bradbury Mountain, known in Maine as one of the best hawk migration spots on the east coast, is definitely reason enough to enjoy the lovely weather. If you are thinking “I can’t identify raptors,” or “I can barely identify birds that are right in from of me,” there is no need to panic. Freeport Wild Bird Supply (linked here) graciously sponsors The Bradbury Mountain Spring Hawkwatch near Freeport, which they have done for 15 years. There is an official counter on the mountain every day from March 15 to May 15, counting every bird they see. They are often pointing out the birds to onlookers, so you can see the birds and have them identified for you without having worry about whether you are looking at a Broad-winged Hawk or a Sharp-shinned Hawk, two birds seen there today.
In addition to a board at the summit that they update every hour or so, the official counter will post a summary of the day on HawkCount (linked here). This can be helpful if you want to know what they saw the day before you want to go, so you can get an idea of what you might see during your time at the summit. In my experience today, May 2, most people were not wearing masks, which may affect your decisions. The CDC recently said that you do not have to wear a mask outdoors, which has made a lot of people spend more time at Bradbury Mountain. Happy birding!