A Kettle of One

August 11, 2016
Eric Masterson releases a rehabilitated Broad-winged Hawk at the Pack Monadnock Raptor Observatory in Peterborough. (photo © Meade Cadot)

the Kettle of One logo, featuring a silhouette of a bicyclist and of a kettle of hawksIn September, the Harris Center’s Eric Masterson will walk out his front door, hop on a bicycle, and head south, not to return for another six months. He’ll be following the epic migration route of one of North America’s most iconic bird species, the Broad-winged Hawk.

Traveling in huge flocks called kettles, Broad-winged Hawks fly a narrowly defined path along the Appalachians to the Gulf Coast and Mexico. Many birds continue on into the heart of the Amazon basin. Both the birds and Eric − traveling in his “Kettle of One” − will cross five time zones, forty degrees of latitude, and five thousand miles, finishing in Colombia in February.

Eric is undertaking this pilgrimage in the belief that theirs is an important story to tell. He is working closely with Hawk Mountain, and will be following the route laid down by their satellite-tagged hawks. The birds will lead him to many historic hawk watch sites, including Hawk Mountain in Pennsylvania, Corpus Christi in Texas, Veracruz in Mexico, Kekoldi in Costa Rica, and Cerro Ancon in Panama. You can track Eric’s progress at ericmasterson.com.