March 18, 2014

Spring Hawkwatch begins April 1

Hawk Mountain Sanctuary invites visitors to head outside and watch for returning raptor migrants during its annual Spring Hawk Watch held daily starting April 1 at its famous North Lookout. The count continues through May 15, and trail fee for non-members costs $6 adults, $5 seniors and $3 for children ages 6 to 12. 

Staff, trainees and volunteers will be on hand to help visitors spot and identify raptors  and other birds, including Broad-winged Hawks, Red-tailed Hawks, Ospreys and Bald Eagles. Numbers typically peak mid to late April, and on days with southerly winds and cloud cover. 

“It’s a great chance to practice your wildlife photography, to learn tips on hawk ID, and to learn more about the migration of birds in the area,” said Hawk Mountain President Jerry Regan.  “And it’s always exciting to see the raptors in flight.”

Beginning in the 1960s, Hawk Mountain has monitored the spring raptor migration and reports an average 1,063 raptors, with one-day peak counts of more than 100 birds. Since 2000, Conservation Science trainees have regulated the daily count at the North Lookout in the second half of the spring migration, using the training of experienced volunteers and staff to learn migration count techniques.

Celebrating 80 years in raptor conservation, Hawk Mountain Sanctuary is the world's first refuge for birds of prey and an international center for raptor conservation. The 2,500-acre Sanctuary, 8-mile trail system and Visitor Center is open to the public year-round. A trail fee or membership dues supports local to global conservation programs, including public education, professional training and scientific research programs. Visit to learn more. 

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