As autumn fills the air, the skies are full of movement. During the day, hawks, eagles, falcons and osprey take flight and embark on their southward journey to wintering locations. Pennsylvania is a keystone state for observing raptor migration, with the Kittatinny Ridge and other parallel Appalachian Ridges becoming a highway for these amazing birds. The season begins August 1st. Learn more!
The Ridge has many rock outcroppings and boulder fields that make great locations for watching the annual fall migration of hawks, eagles and vultures. Some sites are close to parking, while others involve rigorous hiking.
Hawk Watching Tips
- Increase your hawk watching success by checking the weather for wind direction and compare it to the site Wind Factor prior to going out.
- Hawks are often seen closest in the morning and late afternoon. A lull usually occurs during mid-day.
- The last week in September is generally when the Broad-winged Hawks peak in Pennsylvania. Thousands can be seen on heavy flight days.
- Hawk-watching sites located on the Kittatinny Ridge are typically cooler and windier than in the surrounding valleys?dress appropriately.
Hawk Flight Chart
This chart shows peak migration periods for 15 raptor species along the Kittatinny Ridge.