Bake Oven Knob Hawk Count

Bake Oven Knob Hawk Count

The Bake Oven Knob Hawk Count is a long term hawk migration research project of the Wildlife Information Center. It is an important part of the Kittatinny Raptor Corridor Project. The annual count was started in 1961 by Donald S. Heintzelman, who directed the count for 37 years, retired from counting and leading the project after the 1997 season.

Bake Oven Knob is a rocky outcrop on the Kittatinny Ridge, or Blue Mountain, on the border between Lehigh and Carbon Counties in eastern Pennsylvania. The South Lookout, used on calm days or days with southerly winds, is perched atop a high cliff and has a commanding view of the Lehigh Valley.   Click here for directions to Bake Oven Knob.

Migrating hawks are identified and counted in August, September, October, and November in the Autumn count. Ages and sexes of raptors are also recorded whenever possible. The results of the count and its analysis, other articles, and field notes are published annually in American Hawkwatcher.

The 2002 season began on 15 August and continued through 1 December. A total of 20,778 raptors were counted during 785 hours of observation. Table 1 summarizes the count by species and month (excluding the sole day of observing conducted in December).

2002 Bake Oven Knob Hawk Count Totals

Black Vulture355750551950.25
Turkey Vulture174296186306870.88
Bald Eagle1611319171650.21
Northern Harrier53156121040.13
Sharp-shinned Hawk3752617307823713.03
Cooper’s Hawk688235213500.45
Northern Goshawk001021310.04
Red-shouldered Hawk07160301970.25
Broad-winged Hawk80122002801230815.75
Red-tailed Hawk281381535115828593.66
Rough-legged Hawk00022negl.
Golden Eagle013056870.11
American Kestrel141177602070.26
Peregrine Falcon013491630.08
Unidentified Hawks847168552780.36
Observation Days1629252797
Observation Hours143268195175.7781.7

Detailed results are available to the public through three sources:

  • Hawk Migration Association of America’s (HMANA’s) Hawkcount website. This includes daily counts, observations, and notes.
  • Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology’s BirdSource web site (when you visit the site, click on Bake Oven Knob to view our counts).
  • In our publication, the American Hawkwatcher, available from the Wildlife Center. Note that this is the only official count.