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Word Count: 1,477
The afternoon was cool and crisp without a cloud in the heavens as our ecology class set a course for Hawk Mountain Sanctuary located in Kempton Pennsylvania There was an air of relief because the weather finally sided with us it will be a perfect day for hawk watching Bundled up in winter coats and gloves we arrived at the meeting center at the sanctuary where our guide was patiently waiting in the lecture auditorium He began his talk with why raptors migrate and why Hawk Mountain is a hot spot for watching these hawks migrate Inadequate quantities of food are the main reason these North American hawks leave their native and breeding terrain in the winter months The reason why the migrating raptors do not inhabit permanently these southern and more favorable climate wise lands is due to an increase of hawk concentration and competition which leads to less prey to go around Other reasons for migrating back to their breeding territory include a lower parasite and predator population and increased daylight period for hunting Migration within a species is dependent on that particular species In several species every individual migrates in others some migrate and other hawks remain year round these are called sedentary and in additional species all hawks remain sedentary In general approximately 45 percent of all hawks migrate Then our guide activated an electrically powered map of North and South America The map was riddled with small red lights that lit the origin and destination of the specific species of hawk Raptors prefer to migrate over level earth landscape avoiding mountains lakes and oceans The length of migration depends upon the species For example bald eagles travel only as far as Florida however other species like the osprey broad-winged hawk and peregrine falcon travel the length of the United States into Central and South America For southern destinations in soaring birds such as broad- winged hawk the foremost
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