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Hawk Mania 2016


Every fall tens of thousands of hawks, eagles and falcons migrate through the Florida Keys, a phenomenon that is surprisingly easy to miss. It makes us want to grab everyone we see by the shirt collar and point all the birds out to them. Instead we've created an event: Hawk Mania.

It's a chance for anyone who'd interested to come out and see the visible miracle of migration.

The two main events will be a keynote talk by internationally renowned hawk expert Rafael Galvez on Friday, October 14, and all day Hawk Watch at Fort Zachary Taylor State Park on Saturday, October 15.

We've also added a few satellite events this year – a beach walk with seabird expert Cameron Cox on Friday morning, and on Saturday a songbird walk, a butterfly walk, and a seawatch.

Check out the schedule below. And come out for a little while or for all the events. We'd love to see you.

ALL EVENTS ARE FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. There is a fee to get into Fort Zachary Taylor State Park.



Friday, October 14

9 a.m. on Friday
“Littorally Birding: Looking for birds where the sea meets the sky”
Join Cameron Cox, author of “Peterson Reference Guide to Seawatching” for a short walk and talk and a chance to learn about the habits of shore birds, wading birds, and the birds of the open ocean (also known as pelagic birds). Meet at the base of White Street Pier. (Map)

6:30 p.m. on Friday
Rafael Galvez keynote: “Southbound & Down: Bird Migration in the Florida Keys”
Rafael Galvez is the director of the Florida Keys Hawk Watch, a well as a highly regarded wild life artist and a guide for Victor Emanuel Nature Tours. He knows more about birds migration in the Keys than anyone. Come listen to him speak the gospel of avifauna.
Key West Garden Club, 1100 Atlantic Boulevard. (Map)

Saturday, October 15

9:00 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday
Hawk Watch at Fort Zach. Stop by for a few minutes or the whole day. Mid-October is the peak of the annual raptor migration through the Keys. We can almost guarantee seeing a Peregrine Falcon (the fastest bird on the planet) as well as good chances at several other species of hawks and falcons, including Northern Harriers, Broad-winged Hawks, Short-tailed Hawks, Merlins, American Kestrels, Ospreys and Bald Eagles. Chief counters will be
Meet at the tent in the field at the west end of Fort Zachary Taylor State Park.

9:30 a.m. on Saturday
Songbird walk with Dr. Mark Whiteside
Songbirds, small, colorful birds that – also know as passerines – are also migrating through the Keys at this time of year. Long-time birder and Florida Keys Audubon society president Mark Whiteside will lead a short walk around the park’s native hardwood hammock. 
Meet at the tent in the field at the west end of Fort Zachary Taylor State Park.

11:00 a.m. on Saturday
Butterfly walk with Amy Grimm and Leigh Williams
Join the Big Pine Key dynamic duo of butterflies – Amy Grimm and Leigh Williams – for a short walk around the edge areas of the park, seeking some of nature’s most delicate and beautiful winged creatures. 
Meet at the tent in the field at the west end of Fort Zachary Taylor State Park..

2:00 p.m. on Saturday
Seawatch with Cameron Cox
Living on an island, you never know what is going to fly by. Come spend a little time with Cameron at the water’s edge to find out. Frigatebirds, gannets, boobies, pelicans, gulls, terns… Could be anything.
Meet at the tent in the field at the west end of Fort Zachary Taylor State Park.


Earlier Event: May 5
Dry Tortugas Birding
Later Event: December 7
Monthly Meeting: Doug Mader, DVM