Popular Michigan Hawk Watches
Count Site: Lake Erie Metropark Boat Launch, Brownstone, MI
Season: Fall (Sept-Nov)
Site description: This hawk watch is where I learned and honed my skills. The hawks are typically at a distance so it’s not the best place for hawk photography but if you want the best place to learn, it ranks up there among the top.
Count Site: Whitefish Pt. Bird Observatory, Paradise, MI
Season: Spring (Mar 15-May 31)
Site description: Whitefish Pt. is simply magical. Aside from Cape May, NJ it’s one of the best birding sites East of the Rockies. Atop the hawk deck, hot species like Rough-legged Hawks and dark-morph Red-tailed Hawks are easy species to get and the volume and proximity to the birds allows for great photography and seeing the birds in better detail.
Count Site: Mackinaw City,MI (click HERE for site information)
Season: Spring (Mar-early June)
Site description: This hawk watch is located in the northern reaches of Michigan’s lower peninsula and is rapidly growing in popularity. The site is known for huge Red-tailed Hawk and Golden Eagle numbers.
Count Site: Brockway Mountain, Copper Harbor, MI
Season: Spring (Mar 15-Jun 15)
Site description: This hawk watch is in an exceptional location giving 360deg views above Lake Superior acting as a funnel along the Keweenaw Peninsula. Given the altitude of the count site, it also puts you closer to eye level with the hawks.
Count Site: Port Crescent State Park, Port Austin, MI
Season: Spring (late Mar-late May)
Site description: The Port Crescent Hawk Watch is located at the tip of Michigan’s “thumb” on Saginaw Bay and Lake Huron. It is a spring watch site with sporadic coverage between late March and late May. It’s best to message via their Facebook page to ask questions or verify a counter will be present when you plan to visit.
Popular Eastern Hawk Watches
Count Site: Cape May State Park, Cape May, NJ
Season: Fall (Sept-Nov)
Site description: Cape May can be summed up in one word, magical. The site is known for their big Falcon numbers but all hawks that pass by Cape May grasp the attention of birders as they hunt on the wing or shoot by at close distances. This is also a great site for photography.
Count Site: Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, Kempton, PA
Season: Fall (Aug-Dec)
Site description: Hawk Mountain is a famed eastern ridge site that offers a new challenge to hawk watching in that the birds following close to the mountain ridges are hard to find. This site does have a somewhat difficult walk up to the count site, however the vista views make it worth the trek.
Count Site: Hawk Ridge, Duluth, MN
Season: Fall (Sept-Oct)
Site description: Located on the shores of Lake Superior, the birds are funneled past the ridge and in certain winds, they can be quite low. They are also known for some of the largest numbers of Northern Goshawks. The best winds are out of the Northwest which will create more birds, but they are further out.
Count Site: Curry Hammock State Park, Florida Keys, FL
Season: Fall (Sept 15-Nov 2)
Site description: This hawk watch is known for Peregrine Falcons (as well as the other falcons) and is the Southern most site for hawk watching. Because of the narrowing of the landmass, matched with Hawks using the land for thermals, it can be a great site for seeing migratory hawks.
Count Site: Braddock Bay Park, Hilton, NY
Season: Spring (Mar-May)
Site description: Braddock Bay is a hot spot for migratory hawks located on the southern shore of Lake Ontario. This site is well known for their Red-shouldered Hawk numbers but the location is great and welcoming to all that want to do some shoreline hawk watching.