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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
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
300 Moonhill Dr,
Schuylkill Haven, PA 17972
Carbon County EE
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.