As those chilly winds begin to blow, the hardiest of the northern raptor species begin to get a hankering for warmer climates. One of the rarest migrants to be seen here in New Hampshire is the Golden Eagle. Though the species in not rare out in the Western U.S., it's only an occasional visitor to New England, passing through each spring and fall on its way to and from breeding grounds up in Quebec's Gaspésie Peninsula. With a wingspan of nearly seven feet, and weighing up to a whopping fifteen pounds (an adult red-tailed hawk, for comparison, weighs about two pounds), the Golden is a true behemoth, taking prey as large as geese and even small deer.
While our chances may be slim, the opportunity to see such an enormous and beautiful creature is worth the effort. We'll head up to Pack Monadnock (driving also available for those not inclined to hike), part of Miller State Park, just east of Peterborough. New Hampshire Audubon staffs a hawk-watch here each fall, and we'll set up shop at the Observatory outlook for a couple hours. Red-tailed, Red-shouldered, and other hawk species are also likely. Dress warmly, pack a sandwich, and don't forget those binocs. Hot chocolate will be provided!
Meet in the Miller State Park parking lot off Route 101 at 9:00 a.m. R.S.V.P. to firstname.lastname@example.org if you plan to attend!