Great Black Hawk notes from 8/8

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Doug Hitchcox

Aug 8, 2018, 10:52:15 PM8/8/18
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Hi everyone:

I wanted to share a few more details on this evening's observations of the Great Black Hawk in Biddeford that will hopefully help anyone looking for it tomorrow:

The bird was first seen roosting in a short pine on the west side of the unnamed pond along the north side of Lily Pond Road. It moved twice, making short flights into a private yard along Lily Pond Road where they homeowners were gracious enough to let us view the bird. Keep in mind that many of the homes in this area are rented to vacationers so access may be hard to get in most yards. Around 7:44PM the bird flew west but looped back to the group of trees between Lily Pond Road and Elizabeth Road where it apparently went to roost.

Most of the parking in this area requires a permit from the town to be in the spots from 8AM to 5PM. (We didn’t see any parking police come by until around 10AM today.) I believe some of the side roads off Fortunes Rocks Road allow parking on one side of the street but I hope everyone can be smart about where they leave their vehicles. Also fyi: the City of Biddeford’s Code of Ordinances, § 42-64(a)(11) states that parking in a permit only zone is a $35 fine. However, § 42-66(7) indicates a $50 fine and that illegally parked vehicles will be towed at the owner’s expense. So park at your own risk.

Throughout this evening’s observation the bird was fairly calm (given the large size and noise from the group watching) and did a lot of preening and roosting (no foraging). The bird was almost always in the middle half of the trees it perched in, even when changing perches it stayed low in the trees and never soared. My best advice for finding it is to listen for the agitated American Robins - they were scolding the hawk the entire time we had it in view and were a lot easier to detect. Even the local hummingbirds were taking turns pestering the hawk. Ian and I heard robins scolding this morning from a willow near the south side of Lily Pond but were never able to see the source of their unrest.

I’ve got to lead the bird walk at Gilsland Farm tomorrow morning so I can’t be in Biddeford early but I wish the best to anyone looking. I hope these extra notes help!

Good birding,

Doug Hitchcox
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