The birds of prey are on the move, and right now is the perfect time to see them on their migration.
John Richardson, Count Director at Hawk Ridge, said “We’re now in the middle of September which is sort of the peak Broad-winged Hawk migration.”
While the weather was not ideal for us this weekend, the conditions were right for a good hawk migration.
“The northwest winds, that’s when we get the bulk, the big numbers that come down from Canada. They hit the North Shore and they have to go one way or the other. And we’re at the bottom of the final waiting to count them broad wings, Red tails, Golden eagles, bald eagles.” said Richardson.
When the birds hit Lake Superior, they need to either head up the North Shore, or continue south. They are therefore especially funneled right over Hawks Ridge, making it one of the best counting spots in the county.
“So they can come down and hundreds or thousand or like we had last weekend 10,000. It can go up to 50,000. Just depends on the conditions and where the birds are at, but we’re here waiting.” said Richardson.
Most of the broad-winged hawks are heading to South America, but there are many species that can be seen.
Margie Menzies, Education Program Manager with Hawk Ridge, said “We say that there are 14 main species we also have some other ones at least on the raptor side that we count regularly.”
This weekend was Hawks Ridge festival, a time they try to plan during peak migration.
“We always try to time it for the peak migration of the Broad-winged Hawk’s, because those of the birds that we see in the greatest numbers.” said Menzies.
Hawk Ridge has education staff there through the end of October, but you can still catch a glimpse of hawks through mid-November.