On Friday, September 16th, 1988, the Montclair Sanctuary of the New Jersey Audubon Society was dedicated in memory of Andrew Bihun, Jr. Many of Andy's family and friends were on the lookout, along with all of the officials from NJAS who had put tireless effort into making the sanctuary a reality. It was most graciously hosted by Mr. and Mrs. Edward Ringley of Cedar Grove.
A clear day with winds blowing gently from the north, high cirrus clouds and mild temperatures set a beautiful stage for what was to become a record breaking day. As the morning sun warmed the ridge, broadwings filled the valley, and kettle upon kettle billowed up and up gracing the sky. By mid-day 6,850 hawks had been tallied on their way south. The beautiful tapestry was interwoven with flights of sharp-shinned hawk, Cooper's hawk, kestrel, osprey, northern harrier and bald eagle. The early afternoon proved even more spectacular as rivers of broadwings continued to pour out of the northeast high in the sky. By this time many people were on the lookout, hands and eyes filled with emotion as we witnessed this magnificent flight. Between 1 and 4 p.m. an additional 8,866 had been counted. The birds kept coming as more people were gathering for the ceremony. In the late afternoon a bald eagle was spotted circling up above the New York skyline to the east with a small group of broadwings. During the ceremony a lone northern harrier passed the lookout before sailing into a beautiful sunset.
A very special flight occurred that day, as 17,420 hawks filled the skies above the Montclair lookout, making it a perfect tribute.
Else M. Greenstone
Look at a History of the Montclair Hawk Watch
View Spring Totals for the past few years
View Fall Totals for the past few years