Fall Bird Migration Is Ramping Up

This 2-year-old sharp-shinned hawk was captured and banded at Hawk Ridge in 2011. (News Tribune file)


The fall bird migration has begun. Terry Peterson of Sturgeon Lake sent a note Aug. 21 saying he had seen his first two migrating nighthawks. The birds, which feed on insects as they migrate, typically begin moving through our area in mid- to late August. Sometimes they can be seen overhead in their swooping, erratic flights in large numbers, feeding as they move.

Counters at Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory in Duluth have been counting migrating raptors since mid-August. Through Saturday, counters had observed a total of 462 raptors, including 174 sharp-shinned hawks, 95 bald eagles, 74 broad-winged hawks and eight other species. For more information on the fall migration, go to hawkridge.org.