Here's a little tidbit I thought I would pass on from the Great Smoky Mountains Association newsletter:
"This is the time of year to have your binoculars at the ready as these neotropical migrants gather in flocks, or kettles, to head for their winter grounds in Southern Mexico, Central America, and northern South America, with some immature birds over-wintering in southern Florida.
The first cold front comes through around September 5-15. With it these buteos follow the Appalachian mountain range, riding the thermals over land. They are often seen accompanied by other raptors and are one of the first species to start the migration south. Flocks can be quite large and the best vantage points are in the higher elevations, i.e. Newfound Gap, Clingmans Dome, Look Rock, and Indian Gap."
Smoky Mountain Rental Cabins