Harvey's Knob Hawkwatch

Established in 1977 by Myriam Moore 1912-2006


  Located on the Botetourt-Bedford County line near Roanoke, Virginia between mile markers 95 and 96 on the Blue Ridge Parkway. 

 Thank you Google for 

making this site possible 

for free!

Contact Here


The Year of



ABA Bird of the Year



Why would anyone climb a besmirched Vulture roosting tower on this mountain (Purgatory)?

Hawkwatch History

Who would have the gumption to make that climb?

Tribute To A Grand Lady

She was, and we are, part of this: HMANA

 (Hawk Migration Association of North America)

Harvey's Knob Data with Tables and Graphs From 1977 to 2013 as Developed By Baron and Bill Can Be Found 


Golden Snow VIDEO

Annual Christmas POEM 

(Just Below The Above)

Comparative Data for the Last Nine YEARS

The Year in Review:

2013 was indeed a year to remember: We had the highest total yearly count in the history of the Hawkwatch; the highest single day count of hawks; the highest hourly total; and, the highest total number of Bald Eagles for a year.

The highest total number of hawks for a year prior to this year was 15,398 in 2010. This year the total was 21,221 more than 37% above that total.

The highest single day count prior to this year was 7344 (7313 BW) in 2010. This year was 8449 (8430 BW) on September 18. Rockfish had their fourth highest count on September 17 with 8244 (8202 BW).

The Bald Eagle recovery continued to a new high of 121 this year – the previous high was 104 in 2011.

Baron Gibson's exuberance on 9/18/13 was as straightforward and energetic as he is:

PHENOMENAL, WOW, once in a lifetime maybe, is how I would describe today's daily record setting count at the watch. With the late flight last night, Tina & myself decided to get to the watch an hour early in hopes of seeing lift off & lift off we saw. Dave Brunstetter was there when we arrived & had already counted 27 BW's. Hawks were observed low in the valley on the west side getting up and streaming out. After an hour of counting (721 counted) the skies cleared just enough for us to see a huge flight come right over the watch sometimes 10-15 wide streaming & kettling, Kettling & streaming with 5,527 BW's counted.

BW's by hr (7:45-8) 27 (8-9) 721 (9-10) 5,527 (10-11) 268 (11-12) 996 (12-1) 583 (1-2) 62 (2-3) 237 (3-4) 2 (4-5) 7

2 Bald Eagles, Imm @ 12:38, AEBE @ 15:48

Special thanks to Dave Brunstetter for helping me count the multitudes.”

The regular Counters this year were: Joyce Holt, Bill and Katie James, Baron Gibson, Dillard Childress, David Kirk, and Carl Christianson. Somewhat irregular, but very important, counters were David Brunstetter, Matt Hosmer, Allen and Robin Austin, Barry Kinzie, Mike Crowder and Liz Williams.

Regular Observers this year included, but were not limited to: Darryl Martin, Andy Biggs, Eunice Hudgins, Phillip Ferguson, Tina Gibson, Kathy Brett, Jen, Randy Doss, Teresa Kinzie, Al Miller, and Norris Ford. We continue to appreciate assistance from Hollins University and Virginia Western during Broadwing season as well as many other Broadwing week regulars.

On 9/15/13, we had the earliest Golden Eagle on record, an immature.

Eye-balling the current (9 year) record, it looks like many species were below average this year including: Ospreys, Harriers, Sharpies, Kestrels, Merlins and Red Shoulders. Does anyone wonder if the melting permafrost enhances the food supply differentially to the Broadwings?  

To see  Current Radar, Airport  ata, Cameras at Mill Mountain and the Peaks of Otter, Airline Weather Prediction, Winds Aloft and Current Readings From Buchanan and the Goose Creek Valley, Click:


Is this a graph of BW migration?  Click and see:

Nice Redtail-Squirrel Video From Richard E

Let's try wind farming for 30 years and see if there any Eagles left.  NOT!

What those Amazon DRONES will be in for (check out the Osprey!)

                You don't want to be a young OSPREY!                      


                       Harvey's Knob Current


If the National Park Service, Blue Ridge Parkway, Dept. of the Interior, etc.,  would let us, we could block off the Overlook and install a pond just for these migrating BIRDS!

                        Thanksgiving Turkeys HERE!

                              David B. and the SE OWL

                               Joyce's Unusual DAY!

                             Photos of Harvey HERE!

                                              Some Leftovers

                   Darryl's World Part ONE (Page Down)

Baron & Bill's Knob Historical

                           DATA (coming soon)

                    See South Carolina Broadwings HERE!   
                                       (Page Down)

To see  Current Radar, Airport  ata, Cameras at Mill Mountain and the Peaks of Otter, Airline Weather Prediction, Winds Aloft and Current Readings From Buchanan and the Goose Creek Valley, Click:

See what might be coming by timely reports from other Hawkwatches (like Rockfish on Afton Mountain):

Other Hawkwatch Counts at


Sausage Gravy DAY!
Thanks Barry!!

Immature Golden Eagle at the Knob September 15th, 2013!  
Pictures HERE!  (Then Page Down)

Also including Carl's Big Day, Mature and Immature Broadwings, a local Redtail, and more!

What scientific measure is used to determine the end of Broadwing 



Late 9/16/13 flight - See CATMAN (or Baron on the throne) HERE!   
(Then Page Down)

9/17/13 - A Cloudy Day Here!

The Biggest Day EVER! 
(Then Page Down)

These high numbers are likely a Result of a new incantation by the small group of Dave and Bill

Jim Hylton's daughter and granddaughter were special visitors to the Knob on this big day.

See if you believe this Osprey's migration with two days and                                   
                              nights of non-stop FLIGHT!
          On to Cuba and then to Venezuela!!  Look HERE!

                                          More HERE!

The Osprey has settled in HERE

Some Osprey Behavior

A Flying SONG

20,000 CROWS (trailer)

If you want to see when the hawks are likely to be at Harvey's Knob, go HERE, select "Migration Timing" and page down to the bottom.


We will miss Virginia Shields this year, a frequent visitor to, and friend of, Harvey's Knob Hawkwatch and birding in the Roanoke Valley.  

First BW of the Year:

(Someone else can get the last one.....)


Spotted Eagle Spotted

Albino RedTail

"Why I love Vultures" by TED

Do Hockey and Birding MIX?

Vulture Self ID!

Interested in a winter raptor survey?  Check HERE!

How do birds survive huge storms - NYT?

The future of hawk counting, Perhaps?

Hawkwatcher's Friends:

Late on November 5th, Katie and I had 99 birds - waiting for one more when these two birds appeared flapping across the sky:

Enlarge (X2) and note the top bird's legs.



And then they were gone:

Looks like spring almost.......

The same day we had  lot of these:

(Here's a song about Redtail Hawk!)

A few of these:

And, as it got late, the Red Tails turned their headlights on:

Name this bird:

Name that HawkWatcher:

Video (5 Min.) of a walk on the entire Appalachian Trail!

                 Listing of Recent Virginia Bird SIGHTINGS 

                     (including hawks and hawkwatches)        

           Great story and a great video about an old Bald


RedTail on DESIGN?

Political BIRDS?

Anyone for chopped warbler for dinner?  Magee March 

First use of the word "embiggen" and a bunch of nice Photos of wood WARBLERS! 

                             Free Birder Mystery Book for your
Sounds like a good one.......

TAD can still COUNT!!! (2013)

Which coffee is best for the BIRDS?

When is Green not GREEN!


Dillard sharing his knowledge with a through hiker:

(or trying to sell his Jeep.....)

New Revision of a Standard Hawk Book!

A review is HERE!

Another HERE!

The Grand Old Hawkwatch of the South is HERE!

Marriage under the.......BROADWINGS?

September 19, 2012 was the third highest total at Harvey's

since records were begun - 5245!  

Hard work for Baron who did an 

incredible job!  Some saw a BE chasing a PG - a first for many 

of us!!!

People kettling up that day:

Dragonfly RECIPES!

Barry cordially invites you to a Sausage Gravy Breakfast on 

Sunday September 22rd, 2013 at 9-10AM on Harvey's Knob. 

Last Year's RESULTS:

The chef prepares:

The Birds arrive:

The Chef's reward:

And we all miss JOHN......

Baron Retires to the Mountain!

Read this very nice ARTICLE about his retirement!

And this ONE!

What you need to know about binoculars (from Cornell Lab) is

here to SEE!

First Bird of the Year (8/18/12):

We all spotted this bird on 9/10/12:


 For record high and lows, averages, time graphs of species over the past six years, go

(and scroll down)

The Only Bourbon We Recommend is on this

What is a BUZZARD?

9/9/12  Kathy's Eagle

11/5/11 Immature Golden Eagle
Captured by Dave B.

This By Dave Same Day:

And this:

More From Dave:

A Roy Evans Classic (winter 2012):
(Click on this beauty)

Bill Tucker Eagle (Florida species)

ID Class:  This is not an

This place is incredible:
of Virginia

Golden Eagle story from 

9/30/11 A different day:
(Click for a large version)

 Eagle #1 2011 (8/15)

Eagle #90 2011 (10/21)

Eagle #89 (with harness?):

Big Bird:

(Click to read)


Pictorial Summation of the 2011 Broadwing Year:


Purgatory: TS IDA

November, 2009

Bald vs Golden EAGLE

This great photo was taken by Mark Mullins:

Osprey Recovery HERE


Osprey In Action 


Here's another from Mark of our favorite insect:

Click on it - you won't believe the clarity!

                                  Northern Harrier:

Video Tour of the Overlook

The Knob


Click any link to go there and any Hawk to get closer.

Birth of a Thermal

A Boy and His Dog:

Click here to see counts all across the continent including Harvey's Knob (in season):


Coming soon: Counters Friends Identifying Hawks Woodpecker Ridge Nature Center KnobLore Photos Clouds, Weather and Hawks. Harveys Knob highest yearly counts by species: Records Peregrinations


Mountain Friends

 Saw this Osprey and Moon 4/6/08:

(Click on it!)

Bill Tucker was taking this photo of an Accipiter and the Moon when I photographed him below:

Balancing Acts:

According to DataMaster Baron, the Fall Harvey's Knob record for total hawks is:


set in 1996.


The Record


On 11/17/07

Representing all HK hawkwatchers past and present in anticipation of the record breaking hawk are Baron, Mike, Tad and Katie.  And here it comes:





for the Year!

Unwelcome Guest (Us?)

The Prize:  A modernistic representation of a raptor suitable for suspending in any room, but preferably in front of a window.  This is a serendipitous work of art once associated with oenoculture.

The Winner:  The person who solves the Puzzle.

The Puzzle:

First, find the plane, spotted bird above and press his colon!

The Year 2012 was Dedicated to


ABA Bird of the Year