Hawk Mountain Spring Hawk Watch
April 1 @ 9:00 am - May 15 @ 4:00 pm EDT
Hawk Mountain invites visitors to look for returning raptors and other migrants during its annual Spring Hawk Watch, held daily April 1 through May 15 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Sanctuary’s famous North Lookout.
Trail fees apply for non-members and cost $10 for adults, $7 for seniors, and $5 for children ages 6 to 12. Tickets can be purchased at hawkmountain.ticketleap.com. Members are admitted free, year-round, and memberships can be purchased online or at the Visitor Center.
In conjunction with the count, international trainee-run spring weekend programs also begin on the first and are held every Saturday and Sunday throughout the count. The Sanctuary’s signature live raptor program, “Raptors Up Close!” is sponsored by M&T Bank and continues through Memorial Day, held in Hawk Mountain’s new and completely ADA-accessible Outdoor Amphitheater. A full schedule of weekend programs and other details can be found at hawkmountain.org/weekendprograms.
During the count, staff, trainees, and volunteers will be stationed at the Lookout to help visitors spot and identify raptors, including broad-winged hawks, redtails, ospreys, and bald eagles. Migration typically peaks in mid to late April, especially on days with southerly winds and cloud cover, when counts of more than 100 birds may be seen. For raptor enthusiasts and those who cannot make it to Hawk Mountain, daily counts are posted throughout the season at www.hawkmountain.org/count.
The Sanctuary has monitored the spring raptor migration since the 1960s and reports an average of about a thousand raptors each season. Numbers are just a fraction of Hawk Mountain’s autumn migration, but spring is a great time of year to get outdoors and visit the Mountain, especially after a cold winter stuck inside.