Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Hawk Mountain Sanctuary Spring Migration, Raptorthon, Weekend Programs April 1 - May 15

Hawk Mountain Sanctuary in Berks County invites visitors to the Mountain for spring migration watch, Raptorthon, and exciting weekend programs

Beginner and expert birders are welcome to join the official counter looking for returning raptors and other spring migrants from April 1 through May 15 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily at the Sanctuary’s beautiful 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 online

Members are admitted free, year-round, and memberships can be purchased online or at the Visitor Center.

During the count, staff, trainees, and volunteers will be perched at the Lookout to help visitors learn about and identify raptors, including broad-winged hawks, redtails, ospreys, bald eagles, and more. 

The Sanctuary has monitored the spring raptor migration since the 1960s and reports an average of about 1,000 raptors each 45-day season. 

Usual one-day peak counts can reach more than 100 birds in mid to late April, especially on days with southerly winds and cloud cover. 

For raptor enthusiasts and those who cannot make it to Hawk Mountain, daily counts are posted throughout the season at raptor count.

Since 2000, International Conservation Science trainees have assisted in conducting the daily count at the North Lookout, learning migration count techniques from the Sanctuary’s experienced volunteers and staff. 

Those who wish to hike to the North Lookout and enjoy the view and migrating raptors should wear sturdy shoes and be prepared for a walk over rocky terrain. 

The nearby South Lookout may be preferable to those with small children or with limited mobility and can be reached using a 900-foot-long ADA accessible Silhouette Trail with bench seating. 


On April 22, Hawk Mountain will participate in the 2022 Raptorthon, a fundraiser hosted by the Hawk Migration Association of North America. 

Celebrate Earth Day with Director of Conservation Science Dr. Laurie Goodrich and the Spring Conservation Trainees, helping to scan the skies for returning raptor migrants. 

Plan to pledge per bird, make a flat donation, or simply join us on the Mountain! Team Hawk Mountain "Counting for Conservation" will be at the North Lookout and South Lookout from 10 to 4 p.m. 

Weekend Programs

While visiting the Sanctuary for migration, visitors are welcome to join the spring weekend programs which also begin on the first and are held every Saturday and Sunday throughout the count. 

Hawk Mountain's signature live raptor program Raptors Up Close! is sponsored by M&T Bank and is held in the ADA-accessible outdoor Amphitheater. 

The Name That Raptor program, hosted at Laurelwood Niche, teaches birders identifying factors such as a silhouettes, behavior, and markings, and while there, visitors can also learn about the piece of history their feet are planted on, traveling back in time to its founding in 1934 with the History of Hawk Mountain program. 

International trainees studying long-distance migratory patterns offer discussions of their work and allow hands-on sampling of the tools used in the field during the Trapping & Tracking program located near South Lookout. 

More information about the programs and when they are held can be found online.

For more information on programs, initiatives and upcoming events, visit the Hawk Mountain Sanctuary website or call 610-756-6961.  Click Here to sign up for regular updates from the Sanctuary, Like them on Facebook, Follow on Twitter, visit them on Flickr and visit their YouTube ChannelClick Here to support Hawk Mountain.

[Posted: March 23, 2022]  PA Environment Digest

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