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
- 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
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
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)
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