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Frequently Asked Questions

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When is the best time of day to observe hawks at Hawk Mountain?

Hawks can be observed migrating past Hawk Mountain any day from mid-August through mid-December in autumn and in April through mid May in spring.

Most observations of migrating hawks occur between the hours of 8 am and 5 pm.  If there is a strong wind, raptors may begin migrating at dawn and fly until dusk.  Migrant hawks can be seen all day on windy days.  If weather is not windy, we often observe more hawks during mid to late morning and mid to late afternoon (i.e., 930 to 1130 am and 230 to 4 pm).   On sunny days without strong winds, birds often use thermals to migrate and thermals are stronger during midday period.  The stronger thermals result in migrating hawks flying higher and sometimes farther from the lookouts so sightings can diminish during midday hours.  Earlier in morning and later in day when the sun is lower, the hawks often fly lower and closer to lookouts where they can be observed more easily.  


What are the best weather conditions for observing migrating raptors at Hawk Mountain?

The best conditions for viewing migrating raptors at Hawk Mountain in autumn is right after a cold front has passed through the northeastern United States when winds switch to the northwest for one to three days.  Strong northwest winds bring the migrating raptors close to viewers at North Lookout as the raptors are using updrafts created by the deflected wind to save energy on their migration.   If winds are very strong, some cloud cover also can help spotters locate birds in the sky.  On sunny, non-windy days birds can migrate using thermal lift and fly higher and farther from the lookouts, which results in less sightings at Hawk Mountain.  Steady south or southwest winds also can produce strong updrafts along south slope of the Mountain.  On these days, South and North lookouts may both have many raptor sightings as birds fly along the south facing slope.

I've found an injured bird/hawk/animal. What should I do?

 We do not take in injured raptors. Please contact one of the wildlife centers listed below, and they will be able to respond appropriately.

Red Creek Wildlife Center
570-739-4393
300 Moonhill Dr, Schuylkill Haven, PA 17972

Carbon County EE Center
570-645-8597
151 E White Bear Dr, Summit Hill, PA 18250

I am interested in having a live bird program for my group/classroom. How much does it cost and how do I register?

Click here to read about our different programs that we offer. Scroll to the bottom of that page or click here to download a document with additional descriptions and prices for programs with and without live birds.

I would like to schedule a visit with my group.  How do I register/sign-up?

Those interested in a SELF-GUIDED group can register with the bookstore. Click here to learn more information about how to lead a self-guided tour. 

Those interested in an EDUCATION PROGRAM can call the bookstore who will the direct them to the Education Department. You can also click here to read more about our offered group programs.

Is Hawk Mountain Sanctuary affiliated with a state or national park?

We are not part of any state or national park. We are a private, member-supported, non-profit conservation organization. Learn more about us by clicking here

Can I bring my dog?

Sorry, but no pets are allowed on the trails, even if they are leashed. Licensed service animals are permitted. 

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