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
Magazine Category

Author Profile

Kenn Kaufman

Type: Author | From: Audubon Magazine


Oh, I've been to Hawk

Oh, I've been to Hawk Mountain! So nice to see the only one of these I'm familiar with is #1. My college campus also is home to a few red hawks. They can occasionally be seen sitting at the top of tall trees. Once, I was walking somewhere when a squirrel dove into the bushes near me. I looked up just in time to see a red hawk swoop down and miss the squirrel not 10 feet from me! It was a very special moment that I hope to never forget.

Red hawk that missed a squirrel

I suspect that what Aimee saw was a Red Shouldered Hawk. Many years ago, I saw one sccessfully remove a squirrel from our wood-edge backyard in northeast Ohio. And the red shouldered hawk has a barred brest, red enough to be confused with a greatly-oversized robin -- which my son konce did -- when old enough to know better!

How 'but my front yard!

We love to watch the hawks that live in our area here near Simi Valley, CA. There are several pairs that nest in the oak trees nearby and are attracted to the creek in our front yard that is fed year-round by springs so always has water in large pools. Some mornings, I walk out on my front porch and are suddenly face to face with a cooper's hawk in the birdbath 15 feet away! He looks up, takes a drink and flys into one of the oak trees in my front yard.
Absolutely amazing!

Hawk watching

Not sure why Audubon would list all these far away and difficult places to access to watch hawks. Might as well list places in Russia and China. For Central East Coast birders, try hiking to the top of Old Rag Mountain, in VA after a short rock scramble. Sharp shins, broad wing hawks by the dozens plus many other birds as you sit on a large granite boulder at the summit as they fly by just below the summit under you gaze.

Hawk-watch @ beginning of Autumn

Don't forget the Holyoke Range near the CT River in MA.

Lighthouse and Monadnock in New hampshire

I grew up just down the road from Lighthouse Point in New Haven, CT- it was never a raptor watch spot then. ..I am so glad it is used for a bird-conservation-conscious purpose now..
and the hawks watch on Monadnock Mtn in New Hampshire is really awesome - 200+ in one day alone for a count....( I live near there now)
***Wildlife conservation is where we must all be focused- "it is the preservation of our world"
( H.Thoreau)!!!!!


Clovis, CA is my favorite place to watch hawks. From time to time the hawks visit our backyard. There was one on the fence just an hour ago.

Hawk watch

Don't forget the Smith Point Hawk Watch in Chambers County, Texas.

Raptor migration watching point

Come to East Sooke park on Southern Vancouver Island as the raptors circle higher and higher on the thermals from the cliffs and glide across the Straitt of Juan de Fuca to the United States and their trip South.

Thousands of them each year.

Good Raptor sites for migration.

I think GGRO which is Golded Gate Raptor Observatory, at Point Reyes,Ca is one of the best sites. It is not too far north from San Francisco,Ca

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