Million Raptor Migration
See up to 100,000 raptor migrants in ONE DAY!
The River of Raptors Watchsite
Veracruz, Mexico is host to the greatest raptor migration spectacle in the world, where an incredible passage of more than 4.5 million raptors pour overhead. Truly a “river of raptors,” this watch site was founded more than 15 years ago by Hawk Mountain trainees, and today, our partners at Pronatura Veracruz provide oversight, public education and scientific monitoring programs. Hawk Mountain Sanctuary's Senior Monitoring Biologist Dr. Laurie Goodrich is the liaison between the Sanctuary and programs in Veracruz, and helps coordinate or guide our annual eco-tour to the site.
More than 25 species of migrating raptors are recorded each autumn, with counts reaching more than 100,000 migrant raptors and vultures per day during the peak of the flight. An addition 10 million daytime passerine and water birds migrate as well.
Over 700 bird species are known to Veracruz including 25 endemic species including Blue Mockingbird, Red Warbler, Brown-backed Solitaire, Grey Silky, Cinnamon-bellied Flower piercer, and Rufouscapped Brush finch.
Visitors to the count site are enriched by trips to monitoring stations and Pronatura's new bird observatory along with all the counting activity and tourism orientation provided by trained education interns---don't be surprised to find a few Hawk Mountain trainees!
Pronatura Veracruz coordinates hawkwatching tours every autumn with local, experienced bird guides. Groups are limited to 12 persons maximum. Tour season is from September 25 – October 25 every year. Advance booking is recommended.
Hawk Mountain also sponsors an annual eco-tour, with a portion of the trip cost going to support the local conservation efforts in Veracruz. Hawk Mountain trips are focused on supporting the local community and include a mix of both birding and learning about the conservation programs as well as the local cultures and traditions.
Tour coincide with the peak of fall migration in Veracruz, while visits to tropical rainforest, pine-oak woodlands, fog-shrouded humid forest, coastal mangroves and other habitats provide an excellent introduction to the birds of Mexico.