Hawk Ridge: Home of bird and human migration

Hawk Ridge: Home of bird and human migration

On a calm October weekend many Duluth residents and tourists flock to Hawk Ridge to see the changing colors of the trees. Though it’s not just a place to see the changing landscapes of Duluth, but also a place known across the country for its hawk migration and raptor watching.

Hawk Ridge has been counting raptors since 1951 and has gained a large following due to the high numbers of raptors that fly through every season.

Steve Miller, an avid bird watcher from Redwood City, California came to Duluth just to see this year’s peak migration season.

“All the hawk watchers I know from California have traveled to Duluth just for Hawk Ridge.” Miller said.

For his first trip to the northland Miller has his eye on seeing a Northern Goshawk, one of the many different raptors that can be seen at Hawk Ridge.

 Photos by Alex Ganeev/Statesman

Photos by Alex Ganeev/Statesman

“It’s the best place to see Northern Goshawk” Miller said. “Most places you are lucky to see one Goshawk, but here you can see between 5 and 10 a day.”

It is primary migration time for not just the Northern Goshawk, but many other raptors like the Sharp-shinned Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk and the Bald Eagle.

Hawk Ridge offers many classes and resources for those who are interested in learning more about hawk migration and watching. They have resources on their website and throughout the observatory that explain the different migration times as well as pictures of the common raptors that you are likely to see.

Hawk Ridge also offers education programs on site that are open to school groups as well as community classes that are offered during the weekends.

Besides the main observatory there are many lookouts and hiking trails that line the ridge that can be used for bird watching or recreational use.  

If you would like to learn more about this year's hawk migration and a list of classes offered at the observatory please visit the Hawk Ridge website at hawkridge.org.

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