August 02, 2016

Autumn Hawkwatch Begins August 15

Only 2 weeks until the Fall Count launches.

Hawk Mountain invites visitors to watch and monitor the annual passage of raptor migrants as they move south during the Autumn Hawk Watch, held daily August 15 through December 15 at the Sanctuary’s famous North Lookout. Trail fees apply for non-members and cost $9 for adults, $7 for seniors, and $5 for children ages 6 to 12. Members are admitted free year-round, and memberships can be purchased online or at the Visitor Center.

During the count, Sanctuary staff, trainees, and volunteers will be stationed at the lookouts to help visitors spot and identify raptors including broad-winged hawks, kestrels, vultures, ospreys, and bald eagles. An average of 18,000 raptors pass the Sanctuary each autumn. For raptor enthusiasts and those who cannot make it to Hawk Mountain, daily counts are posted throughout the season at

Equipped with binoculars and a full daypack, visitors are invited to spend the day at North Lookout to enjoy the breathtaking autumn colors and soaring raptors. Binoculars can be rented at the Visitor Center, and staff members there can offer tips and suggestions for trails and lookouts. The nearby South Lookout may be preferable to those with small children or with limited mobility, and it can be reached using the new wheelchair accessible Silhouette Trail.

"Hawk Mountain's lookouts give people an unparalleled view of hawks in flight," said Laurie Goodrich, Director of Long-term Monitoring. "On windy days, hawks and other migrating birds hug the ridge passing close to watchers below. It's an amazing sight."

During the fall migration, there will also be weekend programs, free with paid trail fee, on Saturdays and Sundays, September 3 through November 13. Additionally, on Saturdays in September and October, several notable speakers will give talks on their experiences and expertise as part of the Fall Lecture Series. Information about all of these programs can be found at