Oct
10
2007

Raptor migration at Hawk Ridge

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Sign at Hawk Ridge: Photo by Mark Ryan
Sign at Hawk Ridge: Photo by Mark Ryan
Every year, I try to get up to Hawk Ridge in Duluth, Minnesota to watch the hawk migration that takes place every autumn. I’ve written about this event before, so I won’t elaborate too much about it in words. You can check my posting from last year here. And if you want even more information, check out the official Hawk Ridge website.

Kestrel in flight: Lake Superior serves as the backdrop as observers follow a kestrel in flight across the ridge. Photo by Mark Ryan.
Kestrel in flight: Lake Superior serves as the backdrop as observers follow a kestrel in flight across the ridge. Photo by Mark Ryan.

Hawk Ridge birdwatchers: Approaching raptors catch the crowd's attention. Photo by Mark Ryan.
Hawk Ridge birdwatchers: Approaching raptors catch the crowd's attention. Photo by Mark Ryan.
I did want to mention that the day I was there wasn’t an optimal day for seeing a lot of hawks (on some days when the wind is right thousands of them can be seen flying over), but what it lacked in quantity, it made up for in quality – and with gorgeous weather to boot.

Bald eagle soars above Hawk Ridge: Some raptors conserve energy by riding thermals, sun-heated updrafts that flow up the face of the ridge. Photo by Mark Ryan.
Bald eagle soars above Hawk Ridge: Some raptors conserve energy by riding thermals, sun-heated updrafts that flow up the face of the ridge. Photo by Mark Ryan.

Eyes on the skies: Photo by Mark Ryan.
Eyes on the skies: Photo by Mark Ryan.

Raptor identification: A posted display aids observers in identifying hawks in flight. Photo by Mark Ryan
Raptor identification: A posted display aids observers in identifying hawks in flight. Photo by Mark Ryan

Taking count: Throughout the migration official raptor counters are stationed each day at Hawk Ridge (except when rainy and foggy). Photo by Mark Ryan.
Taking count: Throughout the migration official raptor counters are stationed each day at Hawk Ridge (except when rainy and foggy). Photo by Mark Ryan.

Hawk Ridge tote board: The migrating birds are tallied and the count is updated throughout the day. Photo by Mark Ryan.
Hawk Ridge tote board: The migrating birds are tallied and the count is updated throughout the day. Photo by Mark Ryan.

Close up encounter: Hawks are netted and banded and sometimes presented to the crowd before being released again. Photo by Mark Ryan
Close up encounter: Hawks are netted and banded and sometimes presented to the crowd before being released again. Photo by Mark Ryan

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