Calvin Brennan has been standing on top of Brockway Mountain since March 15, counting all the birds migrating through Copper Harbor.
Brennan said bird watching is in his blood.
â??I've been looking at birds since I was a little squirt,â?? said Brennan. â??My parents were sort of into it, so that was sort of a natural thing for me to get into, I guess.â??
The ten-year vet keeps binoculars pressed against his eyes for three months, helping the Copper Country Audubon record a more accurate count of the migrations. Normally, he uses a clicker to count the birds, but this year, the extended winter has kept numbers lower on some days.
â??It gets harder when there's variable conditions where it's not really clear what they're doing,â?? he explained. â??So, it's harder on those days, but most days, they're sort of following a flight line.â??
Brennan said he typically counts around 20,000 birds during a Copper Harbor migration. So far, he's counted about 17,000 including broad wing hawks, turkey vultures, bald eagles, and various falcons.
For those with an untrained eye, from far away, the birds pretty much all look the same. Brennan said the key to deciphering between the species of birds is to look at their flight pattern.
â??You start recognizing birds up close and then sort of further and further away, but it just takes years of practice to do that,â?? Brennan said.
And he said bird watching is an easy and enjoyable hobby for anyone.
â??You can sort of just pick it up as a novice or you can be as involved as you want to be, but getting a good pair of binoculars and getting yourself a good reference book, a good guide book, too,â?? he said.