Where to Watch Migrating Hawks
Hawks are migrating and there are lots of places to see them! Below is a short selection of locations in the US and one in Canada which are easily accessible and are great places to see raptors migrate. All these hawk watches have people who count the species and numbers of hawks flying overhead, and you can find detailed info as to the species and counts passing through on a daily basis. Best hawk watching is from September through November, and each location has its best times.
Hawk Mountain, PA – This well established hawk migration and counting spot is in Kempton, PA. Situated on one of the Appalachian ridges, hawks seem to soar endlessly overhead here when the wind is right. The ridge which was once used for hunting hawks has now been turned over to hawk watchers.
Cape May, NJ – Famous for high hawk counts and masses of birds as they funnel together to cross the Delaware Bay over a slim peninsula of land near the lighthouse, this location in southern NJ is one of the best on the east coast and is sometimes known as “The Raptor Capital of North America.” Counters are there all the time during migration and there are reps from the CMBO (Cape May Bird Observatory) to help you sort out the various species.
Corpus Christi Hawkwatch at Hazel Bazemore Park, Texas – With over 1 million raptors counted each year, this Texas hawkwatch is a great place to see raptors on the move as they funnel into Mexico for points south.
Detroit River Hawkwatch and Holiday Beach Migration Observatory – If you are in the Detroit /Ontario area, this spot in at the boat launch in Lake Erie Metropark in Gibraltar, MI or at Holiday Beach Migration Observatory is a terrific choice to see hawks as they navigate around the Great Lakes. Early in the season, watch large numbers of Broad-winged hawks in a short period of time and later in the season, good numbers of Red-tailed Hawks, Golden Eagles and Rough-legged Hawks as they travel south from Canada.
Now finding the best spot near where you live to see hawks during migration is made so much easier with this interactive database of top hawk-watching locations across the US, in Canada, Mexico and Colombia. If the sites above aren’t what you are looking for, prepared to have a huge selection at the HMANA site.