Watch Hawks Headed South This Sunday

It’s prime time to see migrating hawks and other birds flying down the St. Croix.




2 minute read

Broad-winged Hawk
Broad-winged Hawk (Via Wikipedia)

As hawks make their way south for the winter, many fly down the St. Croix River after passing the famous Hawk Ridge in Duluth. With the migration reaching its peak, a St. Croix River bird expert is hosting a hawk-watching event in St. Croix Falls this Sunday.

Robin Maercklein, retired biologist for the Saint Croix National Scenic Riverway, posted the invitation in the Gaylord Nelson Audubon Society’s Facebook group:

Sunday could be the best day of the season at Hawk Ridge in Duluth and I suspect we could have a good day as well here in St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin. Come for a few minutes or a few hours. I will have my spotting scope and will help identify and count the hawks and other birds as they pass by on their southward journey.

Hawks mostly migrate on days when there are winds out of the north. A west or northwest wind drives birds to Lake Superior and concentrations move southwest along the lakeshore, then spill southward as they reach the end of the lake. It is my theory that the St. Croix River, with its north-south orientation, creates a different geographical landmark that also helps to guide birds on their southward journey. While I have seen kettles of hawks over the St. Croix River and its bluffs in September, I have not previously tried to document this event.

In any event, there will be birds and I will identify and count as many of them as I can.


Hawk Watch at St. Croix Falls Overlook
Sunday September 21, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Sponsored by Gaylord Nelson Audubon Society


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Watch Hawks Headed South This Sunday