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Name: Alex L
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Question:
Is there a main reason why hawks migrate? If yes, what is the reason? When is the usual breeding season of hawks? How is the breed season related to their migration? Why do thesehawks migrate in large groups of kettles? Are there any variations among hawks due to the difference in environment?



Replies:
As with many questions we get on this service, this is far too much to answer here, especially because "hawks" might refer to a number of species in North America with very different behavior and range. But for a start:

1. The principle reason for migration of birds is availability of food; there are other factors as well, depending on species, range, etc.

2. Once again, depends on species and home range. In general larger birds nest as early as possible in the season to allow time for young to mature before winter or migration

3. Birds take advantage of favorable weather for migration, in the case of hawks and other soaring birds combinations of weather and geography that produce favorable winds will lead many birds to the same place at the same time. I don't think there is any social significance to kettles, just convenience

4. Many You might start with The Birder's Handbook, commonly available, or any general book on bird ecology, for more info on migration; for some species accounts check the Stokes Guides to Behavior of Birds, 3 volumes, also readily available.

J. Elliott



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