Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory


 Red t. Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk by Joel Trick

Would you be willing to take an hour or two on select days this fall to help us watch for southbound hawks and other birds of prey at Forest Beach Migratory Preserve? If so, please contact us at .

If you would like to volunteer, but consider yourself a beginning-to-intermediate birder and "not yet ready," we will have several training sessions this autumn. Over the course of the autumn season, you can learn raptor identification and counting methods.

We start seeing fair to good numbers of raptors in mid-September, on days with the best weather conditions. We’ll send out a notice on days when it looks like good conditions are expected/predicted. The best conditions include west to northwest winds (sometimes southwest winds are also good), especially on days after the passage of a cold front. These conditions cause raptors to collect near the eastern edge of the state, in a band sometimes a quarter mile to a mile inland. Our raptor watch platform is perfectly positioned to afford a view of this zone. HMANA (the Hawk Migration Association of America) has a protocol we use; we supply a data sheet and clipboard.