Schedule Your Hawk Watching Now

 birds - Crows Protest Against Screaming Hawk

Hawk migration begins in late August along the mountain ridges and rivers here in Pennsylvania. The best flying for migration is following a cold front. Birders watch the weather carefully to plan trips and hopefully be in the right spot for a spectacular show. Raptor is the scientific term for hawks, eagles, and owls.

Hawk Watching Calendar for Philadelphia and Beyond

Late August 

  • Hawk migration beings

September and October

  • The third and fourth weeks in September and the month of October are the prime migration time here in Pennsylvania for Broad-winged Hawks.

November and December 

  • Bald Eagles fish the Susquehanna River at the Conowingo Dam
  • Rough-legged and Red-Tail hawks can still be seen migrating

Migration Weather

BirdCast: Birding Weather Forecasts from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Northern Harrier ( ) Photo taken by Donna L. Long
Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus) Photo taken by Donna L. Long

Prime Hawk Watching Spots in Pennsylvania

Hawk Mountain –  the premier hawk watching site in Pennsylvania

Fort Washington State Park – hawk watch starts September 1st and lasts through October 31st.

Cape May State Park – a great place to see migrating hawks and butterflies

Conowingo Dam (Harford Bird Club page) – Bald Eagles are in abundance here in the winter

Birding Organizations

Ask or visit your local Audubon or Birding Organization for places and dates to watch the migrations. You can join expert birds on trip and ramp up your birding skills.

Audubon – National Audubon Society, find  a local chapter near you

Delaware Valley Ornithological (Philadelphia)

Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education (Philadelphia)

Hawk Information

Raptorpedia on Hawk Mountain website

Hawk Watch International – the website has information about all things raptor (hawks)

More Hawk articles on In Season

What Makes a Raptor a Raptor?

Birds of Prey in Philadelphia and New Jersey: A Checklist

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