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


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


I live on Breezy Point, Block Island, RI. The Nature Conservancy calls our Island "One of the Last Great Places" and it is. We have many visitors, both avian and human, but half the Island has been preserved as open space. It is twelve miles at sea, and we get many rare birds, spring, fall and now winter. Some of the birds used to just stop, but with climate change there is year round food and almost no snow. The water is still warm through December and warms up again in June.

Our biggest problem is the Lyme disease and competition for habitat between the migratory birds and white-tailed deer. The deer were introduced, for hunting, in 1967. The Fish and Wildlife service, for the very first time, has now authorized hunting of the pesky deer. Although I am a vegetarian, I see the need for this hunting because of the competition for habitat. Man messed up the environment and we have to fix it.

On Block Island, we love birders. Although it is an hour ride on a (large) ferry, it is worth coming, anytime, but particularly October through May. Twice I have seen the Marsh Hawks (who breed north of my house) fly over with clams and drop them on the beach 200 feet south of us to break them open. This is learned behavior from Herring Gulls.

In my previous house, before we built the current solar structure, we had a problem with small hawks who liked living in the rafters. We have a variety of raptors and other birds, such as Ospreys and American Oystercatchers, We even had a Louisiana Thrush after Katrina.

Please put Block Island on your next list of places to see migratory birds.

Elliot Taubman, Esq., Member, Endangered Species Task Force, National Audubon Society.

I am partial to our

I am partial to our watch:Lighthouse Point Park in New Haven, CT. We have one of the best viewing locations for raptors. Not only do we count them, but we actually get to see them, as well! And, we get a wonderful variety of migrants--non-raptors, as well.

Hawk watching in CGT

Hi - I live in RI and saw your comment about Lighthouse Point Park in New Haven CT. It there a time when birders like myself could join you there? I'd love to be there when there are raptor experts present since I am still learning raptor identification. And when is the best time to view them? Dates/time of day?
Thanks so much for your response.

Hawk Watch Michigan

Such a coincidence that I was on the website for the Michigan International Wildlife Refuge just yesterday, and I see this posted today! I plan to go this coming weekend and let you know how it goes. Great article!

Holiday Beach... superb.

Holiday Beach... superb.

Hawk Watch

Your list left out the Hanging Rock Tower on Peter's Mountain near Gap Mills, WV. It is a fantastic place and wonderful hawk-watching!!

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