Monday, November 11, 2019

October News - 2019 Fall Migration & Event Summaries

Compressed HRBO Logo

Dear Friends of Hawk Ridge,

Oct 2019 by J Richardson 3The fall season is winding down on another great bird migration at Hawk Ridge. We wrapped up our public education programs at Hawk Ridge Nature Reserve on October 31. October summaries for our bird migration count, banding research, education programs, and the Take Flight with Hawk Ridge Gala event are included in this newsletter.

Fall 2019 Staff Last Day at Overlook by B Munson 3Thank you to all of our friendly, knowledgeable staff and volunteers for sharing the magic of the migration at Hawk Ridge with thousands of wonderful visitors this fall. We also can’t thank our amazing members and donors enough for visiting and supporting our cause.

Banding Trainee Hannah with HY Peregrine Falcon Oct 2019 by F Nicoletti
Give to the Max day is next week, which is a major annual giving day here in MN for many nonprofits, including Hawk Ridge. We would super appreciate your donation during this important giving campaign. We count on this day of support to ensure we can continue our mission of protecting birds of prey and other migratory birds in the Western Lake Superior Region through research, education, and stewardship.

Let’s make 2020 another great year for Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory together for the good of the birds, people, and place. Thank you!  

P.S. Remember you can view our raptor count HERE for totals & daily summaries and watch the count in action LIVE HERE or via now through November 30th!


Below you'll find the October summary reports and highlights from our bird migration count staff, bird banding research staff, and education staff. We had a great October and look forward to sharing more with you as our fall count and banding research continues through November!

October 2019 Fall Bird Migration Summary

SSHA by Jason Heinen 2019October was another spectacular month of migration at Hawk Ridge! An impressive total of 15,084 raptors were counted for the month. Sharp-shinned Hawks showed up in good numbers for October, including a surprisingly high count of 1,354 on the 13th. They slowed down to single digits per day by the end of the month, but Sharpies totaled 6,006, making them October’s most common raptor at the Ridge.

Red-tailed Hawks Oct 2019 by J RichardsonNot far behind the Sharpies were Red-tailed Hawks, which started the month relatively slowly but quickly built in numbers. Red-tails peaked at a total of 902 on the 23rd on their way to an October total of 5,565. Bald Eagle was the other raptor totaling in the thousands for the month, with 2,080 seen, including a peak of 172 on the 17th. With a full month to go, Bald Eagles have already surpassed 5,000, and are just shy of their average over the last ten years of 5,069.

Broad-winged Hawks were the story of September, but October brought just 22 of them, including two relatively late individuals spotted on the 23rd. Also tapering off early in the month were Osprey, with just eight seen, the final bird on the 10th. This brought their total to 201 for the season, well below the 10-year average of 269. Peregrine Falcons were near daily throughout the first half of the month, reaching a season total of 155, considerably higher than the 10-year average of 121.

First adult Goshawk of season Oct 2019 by J RichardsonRight on schedule, some late-season specialties have picked up considerably throughout the latter part of the month, and promise to continue their upward swing into November. Northern Goshawks have begun to put on a fantastic show, including a thrilling total of 28 on the 23rd. Golden Eagles also arrived en masse, with an October 28th peak of 18 contributing to a solid total of 100 for the month. Rough-legged Hawks have increased more gradually, peaking at 14 on the 20th and reaching a total of 78 for the month.

Rusty Blackbird in flight Oct 2019 by J RichardsonAs far as non-raptors, October saw some good movement of robins and blackbirds. On October 13, 3,277 Rusty Blackbirds and close to 800 Yellow-rumped Warblers were counted along with many other migrating passerines. A late Philadelphia Vireo was a nice surprise. October 14 was another amazing morning for robins and blackbirds with 4,237 American Robins, 3,165 Rusty Blackbirds, and 2,202 Common Grackles counted. The first Northern Shrike was also counted.
American Robin Oct 2019 by J RichardsonOctober 16, 17, 20, & 24 also had a good push of passerines, including 6,689 Rusty Blackbirds on the 16th and 12,530 American Robins on the 24th. All of the passerine daily checklists can also be found on ebird for Hawk Ridge Nature Reserve:

The fall count continues through November 30, so be sure to continue following along online or if you'd like to brave the cold - we welcome you to stop by the hawkwatch and say hi!

-Gary Palmer and Hawk Ridge Count Team

October 2019 Fall Raptor Banding Summary

Sharp-shinned Coopers and Northern Goshawk Oct 2019 by F NicolettiOctober numbers were down in comparison to previous Octobers. We were able to cover the Hawk Ridge station most days with less coverage at the two satellite stations. The flight never materialized and kept birds higher than normal. The one day that stands out is October 23 with 14 Northern Goshawks banded, including our first adults of the season.

October raptor numbers are below:
HY female Merlin and adult male Merlin Oct 2019 by F NicolettiNorthern Harrier- 10 (55)
Sharp-shinned Hawk- 270 (1651)
Cooper’s Hawk- 4 (24)
Northern Goshawk- 62 (69)
Broad-winged Hawk- 0 (11)
Red-tailed Hawk- 34 (52)
American Kestrel- 0 (24)
Merlin- 9 (68)
Peregrine Falcon- 3 (4)
Total- 392 (1958)
(#) Denotes season total

-Frank Nicoletti and Raptor Banding Team

Owl Banding Summary

3 owls - Boreal - N Saw-whet - Long-eared by H ToutonghiOctober was an exciting month for owl banding!  The month started strong, with peak Northern Saw-whet Owl migration occurring in the first half. The 954 saw-whets caught in October put the season total over 1,000.  And we still have part of November left!Eastern Screech Owl Oct 2019

Our biggest night of the season took place on October 3.  We caught 168 saw-whets as well as one Long-eared Owl and one Eastern Screech Owl.  Turns out, the screech owl was the same individual we caught in 2018, making it still the first and only Eastern Screech Owl to have been caught at the HRBO banding site.

Long-eared and Short-eared Owl wing by A Sundvall Oct 19 3Despite the lower Northern Saw-whet Owl numbers, the second half of the month was anything but a let down.  On October 28, in addition to the 28 saw-whets and 12 long-eareds, we caught a Short-eared Owl.  This was only the 17th Short-eared Owl caught at HRBO and the first in nearly a decade!  On top of that, we caught the first Boreal Owl of the season the following night!

-Kate Maley, Hawk Ridge Owl Bander

October 2019 Fall Education Summary

Naturalist Andy Witchger - Oct 2019So much bird education fun in so little time! October has come and gone, as have our days of daily outdoor programming (though one adventurous group scheduled a November visit)! Many thanks to our dedicated and talented education crew of naturalists Allie Quick, Andy Witchger, Jason Heinen, and Kaitlyn Okrusch, as well as Frances Whalen and Katy Dahl - our education trainees for 2019. Lisa Oakland and Noel Larson, our Visitor Services folks provided the glue to keep things moving smoothly for all of our many visitors. Alex Sundvall and Clinton Nienhaus kept visitors informed and enthralled as count interpreters.

Hawk Ridge Kids Activity Cart Bird Masks - Oct 2019October was a wet month with 4 full days of major weather cancellations, and a number of partial days, which required some creative rescheduling. Late October remained cloudy and wet, so it was almost a relief to have the wet switch to frozen forms. October weekends were full of great regularly scheduled weekend public programming. We also had 3 evening Owl Programs - the first of which was held indoors due to inclement weather, but the last 2 were held outdoors and well attended. MEA weekend was lovely this year with plenty of visitors and an opportunity to unveil our new Exploration Station- a drop by visitor education station filled with bird trivia, bird artifacts, and knowledgeable staff.

Young observers at Hawk Ridge platform feeder - Oct 2019 - thanks Myron Peterson for building feedersApproximately 450 educational programs were provided to over 10,000 visitors in fall 2019. These program included school programs and other private group programs, public programs, bird demonstrations, owl programs, Hawk Weekend festival, Kid’s Cart and Exploration Station.

Whew! That’s a lot of bird talk- but stay tuned there is always more to come over the coming winter and spring!
-Margie Menzies and the Education Team


Take Flight with Hawk Ridge Gala was a Success!

Hawk Ridge Lifetime Achievement Award Recipients 2019 Jeanne Filiatrault Laine and Gail MarsmanOur 3rd annual Take Flight Gala on Friday, October 11th was a successful fundraising event for Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory. 140 wonderful people filled the Radisson Hotel ballroom in celebration and support for the important bird conservation work we do. Attendees enjoyed the great music by Jeffrey Flory and members of the Arrowhead Chorale, artwork by Alexa Carson and jewelry by Curious Metal Design, live birds from Wolf Ridge ELC and the Lake Superior Zoo, and poetry by Phil Fitzpatrick from the Hawks on High book. We honored 2 of our loved, longtime volunteers, Gail Marsman and Jeanne Filiatrault Laine, with the 2019 Hawk Ridge Lifetime Achievement Award. The local news even came to interview them, which you can view HERE!

Board Chair Andrew Streitz presenting 10-yr board service award to Steve Wilson Oct 2019Steve Wilson also received a 10-year service award for his time on the Hawk Ridge Board. Many wonderful nature and art-related auction items were bid on, migration highlights were shared, and much support was given to help Hawk Ridge continue to Take Flight. The evening came to a close with a fantastic program "Owls: Souls of the Night" by Scott Weidensaul, which also emphasized the importance of the owl research we are doing at Hawk Ridge. Thank you to all that donated - whether it was your time, auction item, donation or other - it is all truly appreciated!

NOW through Thursday, November 14th!

Northern Goshawk migrating by J RichardsonEach year, generous supporters like you celebrate Give to the Max Day by making your online donation on Your generosity on this day makes a difference far beyond the 24-hour giving event. Please join us on November 14, 2019, for Give to the Max Day and help us continue to protect birds in the Western Lake Superior Region through research, education, and stewardship with our work at Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory.

Your donation on Give to the Max Day also may help us win additional prizes! How? On November 14, every gift made on will be entered into additional prize drawings for Golden Tickets $500 will be awarded every 15 minutes and $1000 every hour, as well as one $10,000 Super Sized Golden Ticket. New this year are Power Hours at 10am and 10pm awarded to the top three organizations who raise the most money between 10:00-10:59 a.m. and 10:00-10:59 p.m. First place will receive $3,000; second place will receive $2,000; and third place will receive $1,000. Your gift of $10 or more could instantly turn into an extra $500, $1,000 or even $10,000 for us!

The more gifts we generate on during Give to the Max Day, the more our chances increase to receive those additional prizes. Imagine what we could do with $10,000! Our goal is to raise $5000 and you can help us reach it!

Be sure to mark your calendar and make your gift on November 14 by visiting and searching for "Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory" or by simply clicking HERE

Hawk Ridge Banders with Scott Weidensaul holding Northern Harrier Oct 2019 4September Migration Reports 2019 - Click HERE to read our September Bird Migration Count, Banding, and Education Summaries

August Migration Reports 2019 - Click HERE to read our August Bird Migration Count and Banding Summaries

West Skyline Spring Count 2019 - Please click HERE to read the West Skyline Spring Count Final Report and monthly summaries. It was an exciting season and we look forward to Spring of 2020!

Northern Harrier 2018 by J Richardson 3BECOME A MEMBER TODAY!
If you're already a member of Hawk Ridge, we sincerely appreciate your support! THANK YOU! If you aren't, we hope you've enjoyed your experience with us and at Hawk Ridge and ask that you renew or join as a Hawk Ridge member today! Our memberships and donations help drive our bird conservation research and education programs. You can check out our exciting membership benefits and join or renew online HERE!

Leucistic Red-tailed Hawk by John Richardson (3)2018 ANNUAL HIGHLIGHTS - Please click HERE to read and see how your support is helping us make a difference! Thank you!

Two simple ways to raise money for Hawk Ridge are by using 1) GoodShop and 2) Amazon Smile for your online shopping in support of Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory to receive proceeds.

Thanks again for your support and hope to connect with you soon!


Janelle Long
Executive Director
Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory

Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory
P.O. Box 3006
Duluth, MN 55803-3006
Call: 218-428-6209
Join us on Facebook and Instagram
Non-Profit Organization

Friday, October 4, 2019

September 2019 Research and Education Summaries and October Events

Dear Friends of Hawk Ridge,

Northern Saw-Whet Owl by J Richardson Oct 19 October is here and so are the owls! We had an adorable visitor this morning at Hawk Ridge (Northern Saw-whet Owl in photo) and hope to share a few with you during our Saturday Evening Owl Programs and owl workshop! REMINDER - this is your last chance to get tickets to attend the Take Flight with Hawk Ridge Gala being held next Friday, October 11th. Limited tickets left and MUST be purchased by end of the day on Sunday, October 6th.  CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE TODAY!
Jeanne F and Gail M at Hawk Ridge Sept 2019 We have a wonderful guest speaker joining us for our gala- Scott Weidensaul, ornithologist & author, and we'll also be honoring 2 very special Hawk Ridge volunteers, Jeanne Filiatrault-Laine & Gail Marsman (as pictured), so you won't want to miss this special evening!

P.S. Be sure to check out all of our September highlights in the summaries below and remember you can view our raptor count HERE for totals & daily summaries and watch the count in action LIVE HERE or via!


Below you'll find the September summary reports and highlights from our bird migration count staff, bird banding research staff, and education staff. We had a great September and look forward to sharing more with you through October!

September 2019 Fall Bird Migration Summary

We wanted to do something different this month. Our HRBO members and social media follows come from all corners of the world and to honor that diversity we wanted to do this month's review in Spanish, as it is Hispanic Heritage Month after all!

Counters - Melisa - Krista - by J Richardson Sept 19 We are fortunate to have Melisa Rodriguez with us this year, as one of our count trainees. Melisa hails from St. Paul, MN and is an amazing part of our team. Each trainee takes on a special project and Melisa chose to work on helping translate some of our electronic information via web/social media into Spanish. What an awesome idea!! So, the September bird migration count report is posted in both Spanish & English below:

Repaso de Septiembre:

Queríamos hacer algo diferente este mes.

American Kestrel by John Richardson Sept 2019Nuestros miembros de HRBO y seguidores en las redes sociales vienen de todas partes del mundo y para honrar esa diversidad queríamos hacer el repaso de este mes en español. También nos da la oportunidad de celebrar Hispanic Heritage Month, que es un mes en los estados unidos para reconocer las contribuciones de los hispanos y latinos. 

Somos muy afortunados de tener a Melisa Rodriguez con nosotros este año como contadora de las aves migratorias. Melisa viene de St. Paul, MN y es una gran adición a nuestro grupo.   

Broad-winged Hawk - J Richardson Sept 19 (2)Cada interno se encarga de un proyecto cada otoño y Melisa decidió traducir nuestro sitio web en español. ¡Qué idea tan increíble!

Septiembre siempre es un mes inconstante junto al lago. Hay días hermosos con una gran migración mezclado con días de niebla, viento y lluvia que no permite buena visibilidad. Así es el clima cuando las estaciones cambian. 

Northern Flicker - J Richardson - Sept 19Sin embargo, a pesar de encontrarnos con tres semanas de clima terrible, finalmente la última semana produjo lo que esperábamos. ¡Y por supuesto todo comenzo el dia despues del festival de HRBO! 

Tuvimos numerosos días de gran migración de pájaros y rapaces que cautivaron a las multitudes y los contadores encantados cuando comenzamos a mirar que los números mensuales parecen respetables. 

Sharp-shinned Hawk - J Richardson Sept 19Con muchos días de cielos claros, el contar aves fue un desafío considerable. Con nuevos contadores este año, que no están familiarizados con el volumen de aves y los desafíos que conlleva el territorio en HRBO, uno solo puede admirar a todos con sus nervios, tranquilidad y profesionalismo como un equipo. ¡Buen trabajo!

El dicho en inglés de “el elefante en la habitación” estaba en nuestros mentes cuando ya era el 19 de septiembre y todavía no se habían visto grandes cantidades de aguilillas ala-anchas. Con condiciones perfectas indicará que fuera un gran día.

Future Counter - J Richardson - Sept 19 ¡Al mediodía, los contadores se miraban y pensaban lo mismo, una derrota! Especialmente cuando otros lugares, vigilando rapaces habían sido bendecidos con días consecutivos de 35,000-40,000 individuos de aguilillas ala-anchas. Sin embargo, esa tarde no decepcionó. Aunque no fue un récord, una muestra de 5,000 fue bienvenida.

Hay que recordar que parece que las aguilillas ala-anchas que vimos provienen de las provincias oeste de Canadá, por lo que no hemos perdido. Al final del mes, contamos un poco menos de 23,000. 

Bald Eagle - J Richardson Sept 19Hasta el momento, tuvimos 5 días con más de 1,000 gavilanes pecho-rufos y con un total de 12,000. Además, hay un constante migración de águilas calvas con casi 3,000 y todavía nos falta dos meses para la temporada. ¿Será otro año récord?

El 19 también fue un día especial para los halcones, de hecho 257: 206 cernícalos, 26 esmerejones y un gran de 25 peregrinos. Las libélulas también estaban migrando en grandes cantidades que probablemente atribuyó a la buena presentación de halcones este dia. 

Yellow-rumped Warbler - J Richardson - Sept 2019Para pájaros, el 24 se destaca porque tuvimos una increíble cantidad de chipes que volaron después del amanecer a la orilla del lago Superior. Con más de 11,000 por hora estimadas y un total de 13,470 contados ese día.

Blue Jay J Richardson Sept 19Hasta ahora, hemos tenido 23,000 azulejos o chara cara blancas, más de 700 grullas grises que es notable, y más de 500 pelícanos blancos americanos. Los carpinteros cabezas rojas son un pajaro de interés porque son raros en el norte y vimos 9. 

Ya que avanzamos para octubre, hemos registrado 140 especies y un poco menos de 150,000 aves individuales. 

Counters - Gary - Krista - Melisa - Sept 19 by J RichardsonComo estamos entrando en Octubre es el mes para las aves rapaces grandes, ya que la mayoría de los migrantes neotrópicos están en camino para climas más calientes. ¡Asegúrate de visitarnos y disfrutar de la increíble migración en los próximos días!


September is always a fickle month by the lake. Beautiful balmy days of great migration punctuated by stubborn stretches of fog, wind and rain. Such is the weather when the seasons change.

Dawn at Hawk Ridge - J Richardson Sept 19Nevertheless, despite running into a third week of terrible weather, the last week finally produce what we had hoped for, and of course it all started the day after the HRBO festival!
Numerous big days of songbird and hawk migration wowed good crowds and delighted counters as we started to make the monthly numbers look respectable.
Hawkwatching - J Richardson Sept 19
The many days of clear skies makes counting a considerable challenge. With new counters this year not familiar with the volume and the challenges that go with the territory at HRBO one can only admire all of their nerve, calmness and professional teamwork exhibited. Great job!
The elephant in the room this month reared it’s ugly head on the 19th. Perfect conditions suggested we should be due a big Broad-winged Hawk day.
Juvenile Broad-winged Hawk - J Richardson - Sept 19
By noon, the counters were all looking at each other all thinking the same thing. We were going to get skunked. Hawk-watches to the east had being blessed with consecutive days of 35,000-40,000 individuals. However, that afternoon did not disappoint. Although it was no recorded a decent showing of 5,000 was warmly welcomed.
One must remember, it seems the ‘broadies’ we see likely come from the west up in the Canadian provinces, so we had not missed them. By the ended of the month we are just under 23,000.

Sharp-shinned Hawk - J Richardson Sept 19 (2) 25 days of 1,000+ S
harp-shinned Hawks have pushed their numbers skyward of 12,000 so far. Also, a steady trickle of Bald Eagles has us standing at almost 3,000 with 2 months of the season left. Will it be another record-breaking year?

Peregrine Falcon with full crop - J Richardson Sept 19 2

The 19th was also a special day for falcons, 257 in fact, 206 Kestrels, 26 Merlin and a whopping 25 Peregrines. Dragonflies were migrating in vast numbers which likely attributed to the good showing that day of falcons.
On the songbird front, the 24th stands out as Ian incredible number of warblers flew just after dawn, with over 11,000 per hour estimated streaming along shoreline. Total of 13,470 counted that day.
Blue Jays
Sandhill Cranes J Richardson Sept 19stand currently at 23,000, over 700 Sandhill Cranes is noteworthy and over 500 American White Pelicans so far. 9 Red-headed Woodpeckers in September is also a note of interest. These are a very scarce birds in the northland.
As we head into October 140 species have been recorded and just under 150,000 individual birds. October is the month for the large birds as the vast majority of neo-tropic migrants are well on their way to warmer climes. Make sure to come and visit and enjoy the amazing migration in the coming days!!
John Richardson and Fall Migration Count team

September 2019 Fall Raptor Banding Summary
Banding Trainee - Abbie with Peregrine Falcon - Sept 19The month of September was a mix bag, with northeast winds during the first half and high flights, but  the second half with north west winds were much more conductive to catching hawks. We had several days where we banded 100+ and several others in the 90’s which kept our interns and volunteer banders busy. 

HY SSHA comparsion - leucistic on left - F Nicoletti - Sept 19 3We had several interesting birds including a a hatch-year male Sharp-shinned Hawk with dark olive eyes which also was leucistic with a patch of white on the head, white under belly and some lack of barring on some of the flight feathers. It streaking was abnormal and very thickly blotchy. We had several in season recoveries likely from station up the shore, but two of note was a Sharp-shinned banded at Whitefish Point in Michigan on May 11, 2107, born in 2016 and a return of a Cooper’s banded as second-year on September 13, 2018 at Hawk Ridge, making it a third year. Oddly we did not catch any Bald Eagles in either August or September which is unusual and only captured and banded one Peregrine Falcon, a hatch-year female.
2 happy banding trainees with 2 juvenile Northern Harriers - Sept 19
Northern Harrier- 40   (45)
Sharp-shinned Hawk- 1294   (1383)
Cooper’s Hawk- 14   (20)
Northern Goshawk- 4   (7)
Broad-winged Hawk- 9   (11)
Red-tailed Hawk- 8   (18)
American Kestrel- 18
Merlin- 42  (59)
Peregrine Falcon- 1  (1)
Total- 1430 (1568)
(#) Denotes season total

Long-eared Owl - K Maley - Sept 19Owl season began with a foggy night on September 15.  Since then, we've banded 150 Northern Saw-whet Owls (including 6 recaptured from other banding sites and one that had previously been banded at Hawk Ridge) and 8 Long-eared Owls.  An additional highlight was the Whip-poor-will that was caught during the "Science and Wonder of Migration" Workshop on September 22.

-Frank Nicoletti and Raptor Banding Team

September 2019 Fall Passerine Banding Summary

There has been a lot of activity going on in the Passerine (Songbird) Great Crested Flycatcher - Sept 2019banding world. We completed another successful season of MAPS (Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship) through the summer and after completing the MAPS season August 2nd, we commenced migration banding on August 3rd. We don’t wait around!

As of Oct. 2, we have banded 1194 songbirds representing 62 species of birds. It has been an interesting season for catching flycatchers- we caught the first Olive-sided Flycatcher for the banding station on 8/25, have also captured a Great Crested Flycatcher which is an uncommon one for us, as well as Eastern Wood-Pewee, and Eastern Phoebe- all fairly atypical of normal captures. Altogether we have had 7 species of Flycatchers this fall- far more species than our usual season.

Whip-poor-will - K Maley - Sept 19It has been a good year for Gray-cheeked Thrushes- we have had 4, and most years are lucky to catch one. A Black-billed Cuckoo was caught on 8/25- another occasional bird for the banding station. We also banded the first ever Eastern Whip-poor-will on 9/23- it was captured in an early owl net run- and was a delight for all that were able to see it!

On the warbler end of things, we have had 22 species, with American Redstarts, our most frequently caught bird at 215 birds caught so far. Ordinarily Nashville Warblers are nearly as numerous- but this year has apparently been a tougher year for them with their number falling to only 98 caught. Magnolia Warblers have apparently had a good year as we seen to have caught far more than usual this season.Winter Wren - A Valine - Sept 2019

Our late season birds have begun to arrive including Ruby-crowned and Golden-crowned Kinglets, and Brown Creepers represented. The first Winter Wren of the season was caught on 10/1. Late Warblers like Western Palm, Yellow-rumped and Orange-crowned Warblers have also begun to turn up. The first Hermit Thrush was captured on 9/26.  Late season sparrows like White-crowned, and American Tree Sparrows have not yet been captured, but are anticipated soon.
-Margie Menzies and Passerine Banding Team

September 2019 Fall Education Summary

Fledglings spreading their wings at Hawk Ridge - Sept 19A busy fall education season is well underway, it’s hard to believe that we are already in October, it all flies by so fast! We started with a few late summer education groups, and then moved on into the fall overlook programming. Public programming began Sept. 1 and is happening every weekend, check the Calendar on the Hawk Ridge Website for specifics on which programs are offered during the weekend. There are also interactive activities for kids (and adults!) of all ages exploring the wonder of birds and the fun of Fantastic Hawk Ridge Volunteer with Sharp-shinned Hawk - Sept 2019fall migration.

School programming has been a full slate of students aged PreK- through College. The early portion of the education program season has had a number of College groups involved in Hawk Ridge programming- 7 different Higher Education groups have scheduled programming this fall! In addition to the great representation from the College level, we have had a rich variety of elementary, middle and high school, and home school groups coming out to learn about the fall migration and the wonder of birds.

Margie doing bird demo for public - J Richardson Sept 19 5Adults have not been left out of fall programming participation either! A number of organizations have participated in programming, and provided volunteer service at Hawk Ridge hauling gravel, and controlling invasives. We also had a great group of adult learners for the Science and Wonder of Fall Migration Workshop.

So know that opportunities to take part in educational programming abound through Sept. and Oct. as well as through the rest of the year. Let us know if you are interested in a program- and we will find a way if possible to fit you in a busy education schedule!

-Margie Menzies and the Education Team

Take Flight Logo Karl BardonTake Flight with Hawk Ridge Gala - Fri. October 11th, 2019

Please join us for an inspirational & important evening in celebration and support for Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory at the Radisson Hotel ballroom in downtown Duluth. Enjoy a delicious dinner, cash bar, live education birds, nature & artwork fundraiser, book signing, Lifetime Achievement Award (2019 recipients: Hawk Ridge Volunteers - Gail Marsman & Jeanne Filiatrault-Laine), and guest speaker.’ll share highlights from the spring & fall bird migration, how your support makes a difference, and end the evening with a fantastic program "Owls: Souls of the Night" by Scott Weidensaul, ornithologist and author. Scott is well known for his over 2 dozen books, including Living on the Wind: Across the Hemisphere with Migratory Birds, and owl migration research through Project SNOWstorm and Project Owlnet (

Tickets are limited! Registration will close Mon. morning Oct. 7th.
COST: $65/members, $75/general or $500 Table of 8!

Amazing Owls 2-day Workshop (Oct. 10 & 11)

Amazing Owls: Ecology, Mysteries, and Research.
Thursday, October 10th & Friday, October 11th.
Northern Saw-whet Owl - K Maley - Sept 19
Limited to 12, so be sure to register today!

Did you know there are 19 species of owls in the US? What are the stories of the 12 species found in Minnesota? Where do they live, when and where are you likely to see them, what do they sound like? What does it mean to be zygodactyl, can they really turn their heads all the way around, and what other tricks (adaptations) do they have in the toolbox? What is the status of these owl species in Minnesota? We will explore all these topics and more during this workshop. Be prepared- some of this workshop will be nocturnal and some during the day! Bring your spirit of adventure, lots of layers to be outside, and plenty of curiosity to learn more about the fascinating world of the owls.

Click on link for more info on how to register. 

Public Programs

Check out our calendar HERE for our program schedule! Daily Sat. & Sun. programs, special events, workshops, evening programs, and more!

NEW Private Guided Morning Bird Walks at Park Point!

Join one of our expert birders and Count Interpreter staff, Clinton Nienhaus or Alex Sundvall, for a private guided morning bird walk at Park Point. A great diversity of shorebirds, warblers, waterfowl, and other exciting bird species are frequently observed at the birding hotspot.Click HERE for more info on how to register!

Northern Saw-whet Owl by D Petersen
10/5, 10/12, 10/19, 10/26; 8pm at Hawk Ridge Nature Reserve ($5/person - limited tickets for sale at Hawk Ridge merchandise trailer during open hours and online by clicking HERE).

barred owl
NOW through October 31. Click on link for more info on how to register.
Limited to 8 (min. of 4)

  Hawks on High Book Cover by Penny PerryHawks on High Book Signings

Phil Fitzpatrick will be at Hawk Ridge Nature Reserve for book signings of his newly released poetry book - Hawks on High:Everyday Miracles in a Hawk Ridge Season at Hawk Ridge Nature Reserve on Sat. 10/12, and Sun. 10/13. This book highlights Hawk Ridge with delightful poems about the birds, migration, people, and history with beautiful artwork by local artist, Penny Perry. Merchandise including shirts with Penny Perry's artwork featuring the Common Nighthawk & American Kestrel and coffee mugs with the cover artwork are for sale in the Hawk Ridge merchandise trailer. You can also follow along on the Hawks on High Facebook page!

Naturalists - Kaitlyn_Katy_Frances Fall 2019 2VISIT US AT HAWK RIDGE NATURE RESERVE 9AM-4PM DAILY SEPT 1 - OCT. 31ST!

Plan Your Visit TODAY!

Sat. Nov. 9th, 2019
Audubon Minnesota, Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory, and Duluth Audubon Society are pleased to offer this unique 2-part workshop for educators! Flying WILD: A program for ALL educators interested in using activities about birds, migration, and conservation to encourage learning in science and many other subjects. Limited to 25 participants. For more information, please click HERE.


Hawk Weekend Festival 2019Fitzpatrick Brothers - Phil_Jim_John 2019

The annual Hawk Weekend Festival was held September 20-22, 2019 at Hawk Ridge Nature Reserve, as well as several other locations around Duluth for field trips and programs. Over 150 registered for the event, but that doesn't account for the hundreds of additional people that joined us to celebrate the migration over the weekend. Dr. John Fitzpatrick delivered a powerful and passionate evening program on "How Birds (Including Hawks!) Can Save The World." Thank you to the field trip leaders, staff, volunteers, and all that joined us and for a delightful weekend packed with both people and birds. We hope to see you at one of our other events this fall season!

Hawks on High Book Launch 2019 2Phil Fitzpatrick officially released his poetry book Hawks on High:Everyday Miracles in a Hawk Ridge Season on September 9 at Zeitgeist in the Atrium (222 E Superior St, Duluth). It was a wonderful event attended by many. Artist Penny Perry opened her exhibit of the drawings from the book, which will continue to be on display. We enjoyed listening to the beautiful poetry readings by Phil and ending the evening with music by the band Woodblind. The book is on sale at Hawk Ridge Nature Reserve and Zenith Book Store. Phil will be holding several book signing events, which can be found in the event info above or at

August Migration Reports 2019 - Click HERE to read our August Bird Migration Count and Banding Summaries

West Skyline Spring Count 2019 - Join one of our Please click HERE to read the West Skyline Spring Count Final Report and monthly summaries. It was an exciting season and we look forward to Spring of 2020!

Northern Harrier 2018 by J Richardson 3BECOME A MEMBER TODAY!
If you're already a member of Hawk Ridge, we sincerely appreciate your support! THANK YOU! If you aren't, we hope you've enjoyed your experience with us and at Hawk Ridge and ask that you renew or join as a Hawk Ridge member today! Our memberships and donations help drive our bird conservation research and education programs. You can check out our exciting membership benefits and join or renew online HERE!

Leucistic Red-tailed Hawk by John Richardson (3)2018 ANNUAL HIGHLIGHTS - Please click HERE to read and see how your support is helping us make a difference! Thank you!

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Thanks again for your support and hope to see you at the Ridge!