The Yaki Point (and formerly Lipan Point) Grand Canyon HawkWatch is an ongoing effort to monitor long-term trends in populations of raptors using the southern portion of the Intermountain Flyway. The flight through this region is one of the largest concentrations of migrating raptors known in the western U.S. and Canada. To date, HWI observers have recorded 19 species of migratory raptors at two count sites along the south rim of the canyon, with combined counts typically ranging between 10,000 and 12,000 migrants per season, although numbers dropped off significantly in 2004 and 2005, probably due to a combination of drought effects and shifting flight lines. HWI initiated standardized counts of the fall raptor migration through this region at Lipan Point in 1991 (officially closing in 2015), and began standardized monitoring at Yaki Point in 1997. HWI's migration research led to Yaki and Lipan Points being identified in the Arizona Important Bird Area Program in 2002, a designation that was extended to the entire park in 2014. Currently, only the Yaki Point site is in operation and staffed with counters.
BirdWatching Magazine highlighted our Grand Canyon HawkWatch sites in their October 2014 edition. View article
Come visit us at the site--everyone is welcome! Our educational interpreters will help you learn more about migration ecology, raptor identification, and our research efforts. If you are a large group, please register here to schedule your visit in advance. Weekends can get busy, and we want to make sure your group has the best experience possible. If you are an individual or small group (5 or less), you do not need to schedule your visit.
To reach Yaki Point, East Rim Drive (Hwy 64) from either Desert View (east entrance of the South Rim) to Grand Canyon Village. During peak season, you will have to take the shuttle bus from the Visitor’s Center to Yaki Point. Look for the HawkWatch counters near the canyon rim. To visit Lipan Point (no longer operated by HawkWatch counters), walk approximately 530 feet south to the canyon rim.
Bird Field Guide (we have Jerry Liguori’s raptor guide books available at our store)
Water (plenty of water!)
Hat and sunscreen
Dress in layers (windshell, base layer, jacket, gloves, etc.)
When to Visit
We operate daily 9am-5pm, August 27-November 5. All activities are weather dependent and we do not conduct migration counts in inclement weather (heavy rain or snow). Click here to see a weather forecast for the count site.
For those interested in overnight stays, you will need to make camping or lodging arragements in the National Park.