Thursday, January 6, 2022

Hawk Ridge News - 2021 Highlights and Year-end Giving

 Dear Friends of Hawk Ridge,


We truly thank you for being a supporter of Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory. Thanks to you and the entire Hawk Ridge community, this year was filled with wonderful connections with gracious visitors, generous donors, amazing staff, and most importantly— beautiful birds! As we look to the new year, we are thrilled to celebrate our 50th Anniversary— protecting birds of prey and other migratory birds in the Western Lake Superior region through research, education, and stewardship. In honor of this anniversary and milestone, we invite you to consider a year-end gift to kick off this special year. 

Broad-winged Hawk Migrating at Hawk RidgeWith your generosity and support, we will soar into our 50th year with many exciting initiatives and events, including our spring and fall bird migration counts, bird banding research, more than 100 educational programs for people of all ages, and crucial volunteer-led land stewardship across our beloved Hawk Ridge Nature Reserve. Your investment in our mission this season directly impacts everything we do, and we can’t thank you enough! 

Maggie banded this beautiful young Peregrine Falcon

As you consider your gift, we invite you to celebrate the 2021 highlights below leading us to our 50th year. This incredible work happens each year, thanks to our amazing staff and the generosity of members and donors of Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory. Your year-end, tax deductible donation can be made online simply by clicking HERE or by mail at Hawk Ridge, P.O. Box 3006, Duluth, MN 55812. If you’d like to make a gift of stock or fund transfer, please contact Janelle Long, Executive Director at (218) 428-6209 or 

From all of us at Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory, we send our warmest wishes and sincere gratitude for you this Holiday Season. Thanks to you for making our mission a reality and empowering our community to continue to soar on Hawk Ridge! 


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During our 2021 Spring and Fall season, we counted over 90,000 raptors of 16 different species, as well as 270,000+ other migrating birds of 185+ species. Above average numbers were counted this fall for both Bald & Golden Eagle, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Broad-winged Hawk, Rough-legged Hawk, Merlin, and Peregrine Falcon. In total, over 3.1 million raptors have been counted at Hawk Ridge since the standardized count started in fall 1972.


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We continue to run the largest raptor banding operation in the country with Frank Nicoletti as the Hawk Ridge Banding Director. Frank and his team banded over 3200 raptors (including 950+ owls) in fall 2021. Volunteers also continued passerine banding at Hawk Ridge, including summer MAPS (Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship) research, with the leadership of David Alexander and Margie Menzies. Highlights included a Golden Eagle Banded by trainees and multiple collaborative research projects 



Six trainees received exceptional professional field experience within our bird migration count, banding, and environmental education programs. We collaborated with four graduate students from University of MN Duluth (including 3 former trainees) on their research projects. 


Margie live bird demo

Hawk Ridge Education All-Stars, led by Margie Menzies, Education Director, shared more than 100 educational programs, reaching nearly 2000 participants of all ages! We shared the wonder of the migration with thousands of visitors at Hawk Ridge with live bird education demos, kid’s cart, school field trips and public programs. We provided workshops, outreach events, and virtual programs. New in 2021 was a birding tour led by Margie Menzies to Panama. Join us for international tour dates in 2022 with Costa Rica in March & Panama again in the fall! 


Board Chair Andrew Streitz presenting David Alexander 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award photo by K Nicoletti

ANNUAL HAWK WEEKEND Visitors and supporters enjoyed our annual Hawk Weekend festival in September. Dr. Gerald Niemi gave a wonderful presentation on boreal birds at the Great Lakes Aquarium. UMD graduate students: Emily Pavlovic, Hannah Toutonghi, & Allie Pesano impressed us all with their presentation on Raptor Banding Research at Hawk Ridge. 100 attendees enjoyed field trips and workshops. We had the privilege to honor Dr. David Alexander with the Hawk Ridge Lifetime Achievement award for 30 years of service. 


Kyle Eagle Scout Project 2021

Volunteers led crucial projects and efforts throughout the year at Hawk Ridge Nature Reserve, including invasive species management, as well as managing site maintenance and improvements. More than 70 volunteers contributed 3000 hours to Hawk Ridge this year! One exciting new stewardship effort was an Eagle Scout Project with the installation of directional trail signage at Hawk Ridge. From watching eagles at Hawk Ridge at the young age of 9 to giving back with his Eagle Scout project - thank you Kyle! This project will help visitors and our entire community help better navigate the beautiful trails throughout the nature reserve! 

We hope our 2022 highlights will be just as memorable as this year! We are counting on your support TODAY to help make that happen!  Your tax-deductible contribution will have an enormous impact in not only helping ensure we can continue our fall migration count, bird banding, and environmental education programs, but also help Hawk Ridge reach it's full potential. 

Please consider making a year-end gift to make it possible to carry out our important bird research and education programs in 2022. Thank you!

We truly appreciate your support! 

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P.S. Be sure to SAVE THE DATE for our 50th Anniversary Event on 9/22/22! Hawk Ridge is celebrating 50 years of raptor research and education! We will kick off the event Thursday evening at the beautiful Greysolon Ballroom for a grand celebration of the past, present, and future of Hawk Ridge! Our annual Hawk Weekend Festival will follow that weekend (Fri. 9/23 - Mon. 9/26) with a great line up of speakers, field trips, and special events. We hope you can join us!    

Happy Holidays and wishing you all the best in 2022! THANK YOU!


Janelle Long

Executive Director

Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory

Hawk Ridge News - December 2021



Dear Hawk Ridge Friends,


Bander Abbie with Great Horned Owl

We hope this letter finds you healthy and happy during this holiday season. THANKS to your support, we had another successful year! Find out more by reading the bird migration count, banding, and education summary reports below and 2021 highlights HERE. We also have some exciting upcoming trips and events in 2022, especially our big 50th celebration! We appreciate you helping make this all possible and hope you can celebrate with us!

Click HERE today to continue to help Hawk Ridge do our best for the birds in 2022 and beyond. We truly appreciate your gift and look forward to connecting with you next year!

Fall 2021 Research & Education Summaries

November Bird Migration Count Summary

The month of November on Hawk Ridge sees a notable shift into colder temperatures while raptor movement of the larger birds continues steadily throughout. Blustery winds bring below-freezing wind chills while snow can often blanket the ridge. The migration of many raptor species has tapered off by the beginning of this month; however, several eagles, buteos, and goshawks continue movement well into the final week. A total of 186.83 count hours over 29 non-consecutive days of counts were logged throughout the month. A single day (11 November) did not conduct a count due to inclement weather. A total of 2,331 migrant raptors of 9 species were tallied from the observation platform between 1 and 30 November. This culminated in a season total of 73,125 raptors tallied between August 15 and November 30. A total of 314,632 migrant raptors and non-raptors of 201 species were tallied from the ridge throughout the season.

Rough-legged HawkNovember 1st – 6th: The month began with the largest BALD EAGLE (117) and RED-TAILED HAWK (187) flights on the month on 1 November. The first two days of the month also saw the two largest ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK flights on the month (46 and 43, respectively) which were also the second and third highest on the season for this species. The final TURKEY VULTURE of the season passed slowly along the ridge on the first day of the month as well. NORTHERN HARRIERS continued to move throughout the week, often in single digits by the day; however, this species would taper off considerably by the end of the week with only few additional birds tallied afterwards. BALD EAGLES surpassed the 4000-bird mark for the season on the final day of the week (6 November) while GOLDEN EAGLE momentum picked up with multiple birds detected every day from the beginning of the month (23 over the first six days). 

Common Redpoll J.Cosentino

Also, by the end of this week, the season total for COMMON REDPOLL would exceed the 17,000 mark (9,101 between 1-6 November!) and some of the biggest SNOW BUNTING flights came on the first two days of the month (25 and 45, respectively). WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILL movement began gaining momentum with the first triple-digit daily count (132) coming on 2 November with the season’s highest (420) and second highest (359) daily totals coming on 5 and 6 November, respectively. The month’s highest (422) and second highest (409) AMERICAN ROBIN totals came on 2 and 3 November, helping to push the season total over 27,400 by the end of the month! These two days (2 and 3 November) also saw the month’s highest AMERICAN CROW counts (254, 127).

Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk migrating over Hawk Ridge (Karl Bardon)

November 7th – 13th: The second week began with minimal raptor movement due to warmer weather and southern winds; however, the two days of westerly winds that followed brought good flights before less favorable easterly winds returned later in the week. The final multiple SHARP-SHINNED HAWK day (4) on the season came 8 November while a resident adult NORTHERN GOSHAWK appeared to settle in near the ridge around this time as well. Migrating goshawks would only appear in single digits on four days throughout this week. Both 8 and 9 November saw good RED-TAILED HAWK (39, 31) and BALD EAGLE (23, 43) movement as the larger birds took advantage of the robust northwest winds. One day during this week (11 November) did not see a count as inclement weather moved into the area. A notable shift to raw, colder weather marked the end of this week by the 12th, with freezing temperatures, snow flurries, and wind gusts up to 35 mph! 

Pine Grosbeak by John Richardson

The season’s largest PINE GROSBEAK flight (113) came on 8 November. An impressive 15,500 COMMON REDPOLLS would pass along the ridge in dense flocks over the course of the week (5,080 on 8 November!). The final triple-digit WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILL daily total (181) on the season would come on 7 November while several RED CROSSBILLS (7) would also pass along the ridge on 8 November. A large group of GREATER SCAUP (150) crossed in front of the ridge heading east towards the lake on 9 November, with 80 more unidentified Aythya sp. on the same date.

Golden Eagle J.Cosentino

November 14th – 20th: The week began with more light snow on the ridge, but the BALD EAGLE movement remained steady throughout the entire week (50 birds/day 7-day average). Both RED-TAILED HAWKS and ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS appeared in double-digits on two days (14 and 18 November) but were generally single-digits on the remaining days of the week. This would the final double-digit RED-TAILED HAWK daily total on the season. GOLDEN EAGLES (12) appeared every day of the week other than 16 November, which brought strong southeast winds and stalled raptor movement. NORTHERN GOSHAWKS (7) were moving along the ridge throughout the week with mostly daily counts seeing only a pair of migrant birds each day. The beginning of the week (November 14) pushed the COMMON REDPOLL seasonal total over 34,000 as large groups of birds moved steadily along the ridge. The final day saw the season’s second highest flight of PINE GROSBEAK (106), with several groups exceeding 20 individuals buoyantly passing along the ridge together while their flutelike warble rang out into the skies. 

Northern Goshawk by Karl Bardon

November 21st – 27th: The week began with snow, cold temperatures (21 F), and blustery winds (46 mph gusts!); however, it also brought one of the better NORTHERN GOSHAWK days (4) in the second half of the month as well good movement of BALD EAGLES, which had a 46 birds/day 7-day average. The final double-digit ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK daily count (20) came on the following day, pushing the season total over the 500-bird mark. 

Bald Eagle by J Richardson 2018 (3)

Goshawk movement would taper off considerably after 24 November, with only one additional migrant tallied before the end of the month. The same day (24 November) also had the biggest GOLDEN EAGLE (12) flight of season and the highest BALD EAGLE (96) daily count for the second half of the month (third highest of the entire month). This day’s count pushed the season total over the 73,000-raptor mark and over 100 GOLDEN EAGLES on the season. Raptor flights tapered off a bit into the remainder of the week, likely due to a mix of heavy snow north of the ridge on one day and less favorable southerly winds on another. RED-TAILED HAWKS continued to appear along ridge throughout the week in smaller daily numbers, with the final two birds on the season passing by on 26 November. 

Northern Shrike (photo by Chris Neri)

A pair of NORTHERN SHRIKES appeared along the ridge on the two last days of the week (26, 27). The momentum of the COMMON REDPOLL flight slowed down dramatically to several double-digit days following a good push on 22 November (1,441); however, the season total was pushed over the 40,000 bird-mark on 26 November! The season’s third highest PINE GROSBEAK flight (83) came on 22 November. COMMON MERGANSER (26) were also moving passed the ridge between 21 and 22 November. 

Merlin (photo by Steve Kolbe)

November 28th – 30th: The final days of the fall count saw a few GOLDEN (6) and BALD EAGLES (24) moving on the 28th as stronger northwest winds kept birds funneling down lake side, including a late SHARP-SHINNED HAWK! The following day brought snow and east winds off the lake, which produced minimal flight, but did bring the season’s final NORTHERN SHRIKE (Season total: 13) and MERLIN. The final day of the count also brought good northwest winds and kept BALD EAGLES (27) moving as well as several GOLDEN EAGLES (3), ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS (6), and an adult NORTHERN GOSHAWK. The largest group of EVENING GROSBEAK (12) on the season came on the final day of the count, fluttering up over the road as a noisy, chattering flock. The final day also saw good PINE GROSBEAK (35) movement, pushing the season total just over the 1000 mark. Thank you to everyone who came to visit the ridge between September and November and enjoy the migration. We will see you next year! 

Jess Cosentino, Migration Counter

Fall Raptor Banding Summary

The 2021 fall raptor banding season at Hawk Ridge is over for another year. In fact, this season marked the 50th year of the banding operation. Before moving on to the season results and discussion, I wanted to express my sadness of the passing of Mary Jane (Molly) Evans. Molly was the first official counter hired at Hawk Ridge back in 1971 and she did the count until the mid 80s. She was the compiler afterwards until I took over both the count and compiler in 1991. She had hired me under the advisement of Bill Clark, who I had worked with for many years. Although not active in the count for some years now, her guidance and love for raptors was evident to all who visited the Ridge. She will be missed by many. RIP Molly

2021 Banding Trainees - Elle, Maggie, and Emma

This fall migration at Hawk Ridge was a strange one for sure. The banding started on August 15 and ended on November 30. We had a great September with over 2,500 raptors banded, then October and November weather took a shift and we saw the 1st two weeks of October with east winds, foggy conditions with most days having some precipitation. The rest of the season was just lackluster and saw few fronts, and when conditions looked promising there was not much of a flight. It was by far the worst October and November in my 30 years of being on the Ridge. However, with that said, it was one of my most enjoyable seasons due to the people involved. Some years back I started a banding internship program. This year I enjoyed teaching Emma Regnier, Maggie Brown, and Eliana Heiser all about raptor banding and biology. It was a joy to spend time with these raptor biologists and listening to them talk about their future. 

Maggie preparing to band Golden Eagle

The Golden Eagle captured and banded by Maggie Brown and Emma was certainly the highlight of the season. It was a life changing event for many especially Maggie and Emma. Northern Goshawk saw it’s worst season in the history of data collecting. Interesting is the fact that last season and this season a fair number of adults were recorded (banded and counted) with almost 50% last fall and 40% this fall. Yet no young goshawks were banded in November?! I suspect and hope that they stayed further north and is not a sign of major decline. Hunters reported high grouse numbers and likely the drought and yet a large production of grasshoppers and other insects kept them north. Ruffed Grouse numbers were supposed to be on the decline with this cycle but it was clear that brood survival rate was high. I also heard about of a fair number of snowshoe up north. 

Dark Morph Rough-legged HawkRough-legged Hawk numbers banded was a nice surprise (17). Usually after a high number from the previous year when 79 were banded, the following year tends to be lower. There were a fair number of young produced this summer but it was especially nice to catch a few adults. We were lucky to have transmitters to put on two adults provided by Jeff Kidd. See map of our two RLHA. They will likely move further south now that we are getting snow. 

Map of movement of dark Rough-legged Hawk

Banders Frank Taylor and Frank Nicoletti with dark morph Red-tailed Hawk

Red-tailed hawk is a species we are working on with grad student Allie Pesano. We were able to put on a transmitter on a gorgeous adult dark morph RT. Special thanks to Frank Taylor for catching this individual. We also got last winter’s adult dark RT back near where it wintered near the twin cities noted by its transmitter.

Movement of dark Red-tailed HawkRed-tailed Hawk - Light and Dark Morph - Abeticola Type 

Eastern Screech Owl recaptured fourth year this year at Hawk RidgeOwls numbers were surprisingly low with totals expected to be near average of 1500. Likely weather had a effect on these totals, as we should have had a large number of second-year birds returning. Certainly a highlight was our returning, for the fourth year, (resident) Screech Owl. Andy Witchger ran the owl banding station for part, while others helped with the remaining. Thanks to Hannah Toutonghi, Grace Glick, and Halle Lambeau for filling in. 

Talented trainee and artist Emma created sign for Frank

As with each year, there are so many who help in so many ways with the raptor banding project. Special thanks to David Alexander, Miranda Durbin, Abbie Valine, Emily Pavlovic, Margie Menzies, Matt Etterson, Claire Jones and Samantha Hagler. Also thanks to Janelle Long, education staff, hawk watchers and volunteers who helped in various ways. And of course, Kate Nicoletti who’s always supportive of my adventures and passion. Thank you everyone. 

Below are the number of raptors banded (*Note these do not include recovers or returns): 

Hawk Ridge Volunteer Ralph with Northern Goshawk - last bird banded of the 2021 season

Bald Eagle-1 

Northern Harrier-26 

Sharp-shinned Hawk-1861 


Northern Goshawk-29 

Broad-winged Hawk-13 

Red-tailed Hawk-80 

Rough-legged Hawk-17 

Golden Eagle-1 

American Kestrel-77 


Peregrine Falcon-7 


Great-horned OwlNorthern Saw-whet Owl-894 

Long-eared Owl-46 

Barred Owl-9 

Great Horned Owl-6 

Total Owls-954 

Total Raptors-3185

Frank Nicoletti, Banding Director

Fall Education Summary

Another amazing fall education program season has come and gone with its usual fast and furious pace. Our staffing levels were back to pre-Covid levels, after a very bare bones 2020 season. We had a rockstar education staff comprised of Terry McLaughlin, Jason Heinen, Allie Quick, Becca Ralston, Emma Riley, Sierra Wilson, Emily Lind, Ellen Munshower, Sophie Richardson. We were also able to safely return to having an incredible group of Hawk Ridge Volunteers helping with all aspects at Hawk Ridge Nature Reserve. Thank you volunteers for your time this fall and thanks to Valerie Slocum, Volunteer Coordinator, for managing. We also thank our Visitor Services All-Star, Lisa Oakland, for managing all the amazing merchandise in our gift shop trailer this fall. This was our best season yet for sales, all of which help support the research & education we do! You can still purchase some of our items online HERE

Margie with Merlin bird demo at Hawk Ridge Oct 2021

Overall, it was a long, warm fall with a great migration particularly in September, with only one rain day for the month. October was not quite so pretty, with at least 16 days of foggy, drizzly, overcast days. This fall, we presented more than 147 programs for more than 2,600 participants representing school field trips, private programs, and public programs. Small group private owl programs were quite the hit this season with 16 programs! Unfortunately, many schools were not able to take field trips yet this fall, due to Covid, transportation, staffing or other issues. We are hoping for better times ahead in the spring for school field trips to our spring migration education offerings.  

Naturalist Becca live bird education demo

In addition to formal program offerings, we were able to share 164 live bird education demonstrations with more than four thousand visitors. Though some of our Kid’s cart activities were restricted with Covid safety precautions, we were still able to safely band 161 new kid visitors, logged 18 “fly-ins” from previously banded visitors, and distributed more than 75 take-home activity packets for kid’s complete with all the materials to make their own bird mask or “binocular” at home. While it was great to return to many of our in person programming options this fall, we have also enjoyed the value of virtual programming to expand opportunities to those unable to visit. We'll keep you posted with upcoming virtual program offerings!  

Broad-billed Motmot pair resized

New, this fall was a Hawk Ridge sponsored International birding tour to Panama, which was an amazing opportunity to see some of our Northern breeding bird favorites either still migrating through or settling in for the winter as well as an incredible diversity of birds of Central and South American birds (read full trip summary HERE). The fall tour was so successful, we are also offering a Costa Rica tour in March, and plan to offer another Panama tour in the fall of 2022. You can find out more about those upcoming trips below and on our website. 

Naturalist Allie J releasing Red-tailed Hawk

Many thanks to all of our fall visitors and program attendees- we are so grateful for your continued support of Hawk Ridge Education Programming and for providing us with many opportunities this fall to once again educate in person, and talk about the birds that we love, and celebrate the pure magic of fall migration with you all!

Margie Menzies, Education Director

Fall Volunteer Summary

After the 2020 migration season without volunteers due to COVID-19, it was great to have our volunteer program up and running again this year! Safety measures were put in place for the health of the volunteers, staff, and visitors. Volunteers helped with the counting platform, the overlook, the merchandise trailer, passerine banding and raptor banding. Volunteers were also needed for special projects which ranged from delivery and pick-ups, events and registration during the Hawk Weekend Festival, helping with evening owl programs, and stewardship projects, like trail maintenance for the bird banding station. 

Hawk Weekend Volunteers Christine - Jeanne - Gail

We are so incredibly lucky to have such amazing volunteers and Hawk Ridge would not be able to function without their invaluable help! This year, Hawk Ridge trained 15 new volunteers and had a total of 70+ active volunteers equaling thousands of volunteer service hours given! It was a great feeling to welcome returning and new volunteers after a year off and we look forward to the next migration season to welcome them back again!

Valerie Slocum, Volunteer Coordinator

Meet our New HRBO Board Chair & Vice Chair

New Vice-Chair Robin Pestalozzi and New Chair Jim Sanders with former HRBO Chair Andrew Streitz Nov 2021 2

At our last Hawk Ridge Board of Directors meeting in November, we thanked our former Board Chair, Andrew Streitz for his full 10 years of service! Andrew then passed the hawk to our newly elected Board Chair, Jim Sanders, and Vice-Chair, Robin Pestalozzi. Andrew will continue to lead our Hawk Ridge Stewardship Committee. We sincerely thank Andrew for all of his leadership, positivity, sense of humor, dedication of time, and fun staff gatherings in his backyard through the years! 

Meet Jim Sanders, Board Chair

New HRBO Chair Jim Sanders and wife Pat

Shortly after arriving in Duluth 25 years ago, Jan Green introduced my wife and me to the Hawk Ridge Nature Reserve and the amazing raptor migration. As our visits to Hawk Ridge increased, we encountered the contagious energy of the staff and volunteers. Our involvement in Hawk Ridge activities from hiking the trails to the education programs and field trips, along with the gala events, have furthered our enjoyment for the annual fall raptor migration. 

Joining the Board a few years ago, after retiring from 38 years with the US Forest Service, I now have time to expand my involvement in the amazing activities of the Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory’s mission; protecting birds of prey and other migratory birds through our unprecedented research and education programs and for the stewardship of Hawk Ridge Nature Reserve. As I move into the Board Chair position, I’m looking forward to the celebration of our 50th Anniversary and working with all of you as we move into the future. Hawk Ridge Nature Reserve is truly a national treasure we all enthusiastically enjoy today. Together we can ensure future generations will come to love and celebrate the annual migration as we have the past 50 years.

Meet Robin Pestalozzi, Vice-Chair

New HRBO Vice-Chair Robin Pestalozzi with husband and son at Hawk Ridge

I’ve had the privilege of being a Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory board member since 2016 after facilitating a fundraising and development training for our board members. In my professional life I work at the Essentia Health Foundation as a Director of Development, raising funds and supporting patients and families in our community. Growing up in Lakeside in the 1990s, Hawk Ridge trails became second nature to me as a child, instilling a love for nature and preservation of green spaces in our community. I feel passionate about serving as a volunteer board member for Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory because I care deeply about the intergenerational work of the organization, fostering land stewardship, research and education for thousands of visitors at Hawk Ridge each year!


Costa Rica Birding Trip 

March 10-19, 2022

Resplendent Quetzal stock 2

Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory and Holbrook Travel have an amazing birding expedition planned for March 10-19, 2022 in Costa Rica. In addition to an incredible adventure, this trip also helps support the work of Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory! It could be that special holiday gift you're looking for (or to just treat yourself to an warm escape from winter)! Find out more by clicking HERE and reading below! 

Broad-billed Motmot pair courtesy Holbrook Travel

Well known Costa Rican bird expert Mario C√≥rdoba, will be our in-country guide on this 10-day program to discover the abundant species of neotropical birds and other wildlife inhabiting this small, but biodiverse country. We'll begin in the tropical lowland rainforests, before making our way to the dry forest of the Pacific coast. The journey culminates in the high-elevation cloud forests of the Talamanca Mountains. We will have the chance to identify hundreds of bird species, while learning about the natural history of Costa Rica and the latest conservation initiatives to protect its precious ecosystems. Be an observer of the beginnings of the great spring migration of birds to breeding grounds in the north, as both neotropical and raptor migrants will be moving! 

Boat-billed Heron courtesy Holbrook Travel

Each day provides a variety of opportunities to make the most of the birding/nature touring available, as well as options for individual exploration and leisure time. You will be travelling with other nature enthusiasts to all share an amazing spectrum of bird experiences and knowledge. All meals are included and dining is often arranged outdoors or in private group seating. Our Hawk Ridge trip to Panama this past October demonstrated that Holbrook travel works closely with the service industry in Latin America to minimize Covid risks. Birding trips by default are outdoors and of small group size of 8-10 participants. All participants are required to be fully vaccinated and must provide a negative Covid test 3 days prior to departure for the trip.  More Covid travel details HERE

Common Basilisk by Laura Hare

Don’t miss this incredible experience! Space on this trip is limited to 10, and final payment for the trip is due January 7, 2022. REGISTER HERE todayQuestions? Contact Debbie Sturdivant Jordan at 866-748-6146 or, or Margie Menzies Hope to see you in March!

Eagles to Owls Birding Tour: Late Winter & Early Spring Migrants in Northern MN 

March 10-15, 2022


Great Gray Owl - Photo by Laura Erickson) 2

Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory and the Hawk Migration Association of North America are partnering on this exciting birding tour. Expert guides Frank Nicoletti and Josh Haas will lead you on an incredible 4-day birding journey to highlight all the amazing birding Northern MN has to offer. This time in March is a great time of year to view the magnificent eagle migration, remaining winter owls, as well as many other late winter and early spring migrants. From Duluth to the Sax-Zim Bog to the shores of Lake Superior, this is a trip you won't want to miss! Watch for more details coming soon!  


Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory thanks all of our supporters. We appreciate you! As a nonprofit organization, we are primarily funded by individual gifts to put our bird migration research and education programs in action. Below are some of the ways you can help us keep sharing the magic of the bird migration!

Thanks for Giving to the Max!


Thank you to those that contributed during the special Minnesota "Give to the Max" giving event in November. We reached our event goal with over $8,000 raised in support of our bird research & education efforts at Hawk Ridge!  

Support Hawk Ridge by Shopping!


Celebrate Diversity by Emma RegnierBe sure to purchase one of our unique artist-designed Hawk Ridge shirts or tote bags online! Our featured artist this year is Emma Regnier, who returned as one of our Bird Banding Research Trainees this fall and was one of our Bird Migration Count Trainees in 2020. She created 2 new beautiful designs for our limited-edition shirts for 2021, including the popular "Celebrate Diversity" design pictured here!


If you like to shop on Amazon, we'd also super appreciate you adding Hawk Ridge as a charity you support via Amazon SmileHawk Ridge Bird Observatory receives a donation of 0.5% of eligible purchases!.


Banded bird release at Hawk Ridge by J Richardson

Become A Member Today!


If you're already a member of Hawk Ridge, we sincerely appreciate your support! THANK YOU! If you're not a member and have enjoyed your experience with Hawk Ridge, we invite you to 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!


Books with Portion of Proceeds coming to Hawk Ridge! 

Art on the Edge of the Boreal Forest: Alternative Futures for the trees, birds and insects 

Original art by ten Minnesota artists

Text by Lee Frelich, Ph.D. and Gerald Niemi, Ph.D. 

Art on the Edge of the Boreal Forest book coverA group of Minnesota botanical artists applied their skills and knowledge to create a visual archival record of Minnesota's threatened boreal forests, in conjunction with contributed research on threatened boreal trees, plants, birds, and insects. This collection is important because the ecology of the boreal forest is undergoing slow and silent but significant change due to disturbances caused by fire, invasive insects and stressful climate conditions. Books for sale online from various sellers, including HERE


Hawks on High - Everyday Miracles in a Hawk Ridge Season

By Phil Fitzpatrick with drawings by Penny Perry

Phil Fitzpatrick captures the magic of migration at Hawk Ridge and interesting bird bits beyond through his beautiful collection of poetry. Poems are brought to life through the artwork of Penny Perry. Books for sale online and at Hawk Ridge Nature Reserve during the fall season September 1 - October 31. 

Simply Donate


You can always simply donate online by clicking HERE or by mailing a check made out to Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory, P.O. Box 3006, Duluth, MN 55803.

Thank you again for your wonderful gift of support! Happy Holidays! 


Janelle Long
Executive Director
Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory

Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory
P.O. Box 3006
Duluth, MN 55803-3006
Call: 218-428-6209
501(c)3 Non-Profit Organization

Federal Tax ID 76-0746366