Audubon Society offers hawk program

Thunder Bay Audubon Society is sponsoring a free program on hawks Thursday at 7 p.m. Alpena Community College’s Granum Theatre. Titled Hawks on the Wing: Seeing Beyond the Field Marks, the event is open to the public.

The program will cover how hawks in flight bring a sense of wonder and struggle to birders, especially when it comes to identifying them at a distance. Field marks are not enough when back-lit conditions and birds miles out lack any color.

Flight ID has long been the best way to identify hawks at a distance, however books only take it so far. Join hawk watcher Josh Haas as he shares the principles of how hawks migrate so efficiently, why Michigan is a hawk watching paradise and the evolution of hawk ID.

See clips from his newly released movie, “Hawks on the Wing.” This movie brings an innovative new way to learning hawks in flight. The program and movie also feature side-by-side videos of hawks in flight, making conquering the technique much faster and easier.

Haas first developed a love for hawks working with the birds of prey at the Kalamazoo Nature Center. A hawk watching trip to Lake Erie Metropark opened his eyes to hawks in migration. Perplexed by seeing specks at a distance with an overwhelming itch to know what they were, he started learning from veteran hawk watchers and was hooked.

Haas would end up spending seven fall seasons working with the Detroit River Hawk Watch as a relief counter. There he honed his skills and developed a love for teaching visitors unique ways of telling the shadowy specs apart. This, combined with his experience in bird photography and videography, took his teaching to a new level. His goal of making hawks accessible to everyone has spawned his new movie as a means of teaching viewers hawks in flight through the use of video and audio commentary.

For more information, contact Lynn at 989-356-3745.