Audubon Guide to Hawk Watching

Audubon Guide to Hawk Watching

Ten awesome places to catch one of nature's greatest spectacles.

By Kenn Kaufman/Photography by Johann Schumacher
Published: September-October 2012

7. Goshute Mountains

Nevada

Many top hawkwatch locations are established where migrating raptor populations merge along coastlines or lakeshores. In the arid western interior, few good places for a hawkwatch were known until the early 1980s, when researcher Steve Hoffman hiked up into the Goshute Mountains to see if raptors might be following the north-south ridge system there. They were, and this became one of the first study sites of the newly formed HawkWatch International. It is still a wilderness area, requiring a considerable hike from the nearest parking lot, but the view from the top is worth it. Watchers in the Goshutes see notable numbers of sharp-shinned hawks, Cooper's hawks, and red-tailed hawks, plus classic western birds like golden eagles and prairie falcons. Click here for more information.

 

8. Golden Gate Raptor Observatory

California

Though the West is fine raptor country, the region's geography does not lend itself to the migration densities of the East. Flights along the Pacific coastal plain went largely unnoticed until the 1970s, when Laurence Binford found that hawks were concentrating on the immediate shoreline before crossing the mouth of San Francisco Bay. Red-tailed hawks, turkey vultures, and sharp-shinned hawks are the most prolific migrants, but considerable numbers of more than a dozen other species use this route. The Marin Headlands, part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, now hosts counts and research, and a prime hawkwatch is easily accessible from the San Francisco Bay area. Click here for more information.

 

9. River of Raptors (Cardel and Chichicaxtle)

Veracruz, Mexico

In central Veracruz the mountains slope down almost to the sea, pinching eastern Mexico's broad, flat coastal plain into a strip only a few miles wide. Raptors from two-thirds of North America channel through the resulting narrow gap, staging one of the world's greatest wildlife spectacles. Some four million to six million raptors--including nearly the entire world populations of broad-winged hawks, Swainson's hawks, and Mississippi kites, plus more than a dozen other species of birds of prey--funnel through. On some days in late September and October, hundreds of thousands of raptors swirl overhead. The official count sites are easy to reach. Climb the steps to the roof of Hotel Bienvenidos in Cardel, or park the car next to the soccer field in Chichicaxtle. Click here for more information.

 

10. Panama Canal

Panama

If they're avoiding expanses of open water, birds migrating from North America to South America thread the needle of Panama's narrow isthmus. Only a few raptor species make these long-distance migrations, but spectacular numbers of individuals squeeze through the thin corridor in spring and especially in fall. You can see Mississippi kites, Swainson's hawks, turkey vultures, and broad-winged hawks crossing the Panama Canal Zone during the autumn months. The Panama Audubon Society coordinates a program, called Raptors Ocean to Ocean, to make simultaneous counts from multiple locations within the region during peak migration. At some of these places, such as Ancon Hill, it is possible to see more than a million raptors. Click here for more information.

Magazine Category

Author Profile

Kenn Kaufman

Type: Author | From: Audubon Magazine

Comments

Are you looking for movers in

Are you looking for movers in Laval? Call Demenagement Laval 514-998-5520. We offer superior quality residential moving services in great Laval area. We are ready to give you the best quote and service, experienced movers and all equipment for that, clean moving trucks Demenagement Laval! We have all sizes of truck, and we move all size of apartments or house, to meet all your needs!

The post is absolutely

The post is absolutely fantastic! Lots of great information and inspiration both of which we all need! Also like to admire the time and effort you put into your blog. For more info visit

Buy Hot Animal Kigurumi

Buy Hot Animal Kigurumi Onesies Pajamas At Wholesale Price.

Buy Hot Animal Kigurumi

Buy Hot Animal Kigurumi Onesies Pajamas At Wholesale Price.

Buy Hot Animal Kigurumi

Buy Hot Animal Kigurumi Onesies Pajamas At Wholesale Price.

I live in the Tehachapi Pass

I live in the Tehachapi Pass with thousands of wind turbines and there isn't a single raptor, songbird or bat in the sky anymore. They've all been chopped up by wind turbine blades. Shame on you Audubon for supporting this lethal electrical equipment when you should have demanded that the blades either be fitted with a protective grill or shut down.

Wind developers like TerraGen Power can kill California condors without even a slap on the hand. In 2011 there were a grand total of 132 in the wild. I write because I'm sickened and angry that an environmental group like Audubon punked out from standing up for the wildlife that belongs to the American people.

Im glad to see that people

Im glad to see that people are actually writing about this issue in such a smart way, showing us all different sides to it. Please keep it up.

Very nice blog and articles.

Very nice blog and articles. I am realy very happy to visit your blog. Now I am found which I actually want. I check your blog everyday and try to learn something from your blog. Thank you and waiting for your new post.

Very nice blog and articles.

Very nice blog and articles. I am realy very happy to visit your blog. Now I am found which I actually want. I check your blog everyday and try to learn something from your blog. Thank you and waiting for your new post.

To be honest. I haven't seen

To be honest. I haven't seen a good post like this in a year now. And seeing this post now, ahh, it really pleasures me. Thanks a lot for this post.

Add comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.