Migration Network

1HWImigrationSiteMap3/8/21 Update: We continue to evaluate migration monitoring efforts in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, we are hopeful for the fall 2021 migration season and have a small crew cautiously counting this spring at the Gunsight Mountain HawkWatch in Alaska. Stay tuned for updates, stay safe, and thank you for your patience. You can find our full statement regarding the closure of our fall sites in 2020 here.

As raptors migrate in the fall toward wintering grounds and in the spring toward their nesting territory, oftentimes covering thousands of miles within a matter of weeks, they exert a tremendous amount of energy.  They navigate numerous borders and habitats and face multiple threats along the way.  For scientists, migration serves as the most efficient time to keep tabs on overall population numbers and see if a particular species may be in peril.  To this end, HWI has been conducting raptor migration research in the American West for more than 30 years, utilizing our long-term data to work with wildlife managers on conservation plans.

The primary objective of these efforts is to track long-term population trends of diurnal raptors throughout primarily western North America.  The information gathered enables us to better understand the life histories, ecology, status, and conservation needs of raptor populations in North America. Raptors feed atop food pyramids, inhabit most ecosystems, occupy large home ranges, and are sensitive to environmental contamination and other human disturbances.  Therefore, they serve as important biological indicators of ecosystem health.  Moreover, due to the remoteness and widespread distribution of most raptor populations, migration counts likely represent the most cost-effective and efficient method for monitoring the regional status and trends of multiple raptor species.

Learn how we are using our data with our Western Ridge Modeling project to create predictive map models.

30 Years of Hawk Watchers

We are eternally thankful to the hundreds of individuals who have worked at our migration sites over the decades.

Visit a HawkWatch Site

All of our research sites are open to the public and provide opportunities to learn from our field crews about migration ecology and raptor identification. We welcome and encourage you to visit one of our sites and participate in the magnificent show that is raptor migration.  Click on our sites below for directions and details.  Let's go hawk watching!

Learn More

Raptor Migration     |     Raptor ID Fact Sheets     |     Counting and Banding Totals     |     Migration Reports by Site

Powered by GoalzeroGoal Zero helps us keep the lights on!

Most of our migration sites are located on remote ridgelines without power or running water.  Thanks to Goal Zero, we are able to power our research with the latest solar panel and battery storage technology.

Bonney Butte, OR

[Temporarily closed] Visit Bonney Butte, Aug 27-Oct 31

Chelan Ridge, WA

[Temporarily closed] Visit Chelan Ridge, Aug 23-Oct 27

Commissary Ridge, WY

[Temporarily closed] Visit Commissary Ridge, Aug 27-Nov 5

Corpus Christi, TX

Visit Corpus Christi, Aug 1-Nov 15

Goshute Mountains, NV

[Temporarily closed] Visit Goshute Mountains, Aug 15-Nov 5

Grand Canyon, AZ

Visit Yaki Point, Aug 27-Nov 5