Great Outdoors: Hawk Festival Weekend

You can view the birds until the end of November at Hawk Ridge.

DULUTH, Minn. – It’s a sight to see when hundreds of birds migrate in your neck of the woods.

Every year at Hawk Festival Weekend in Duluth that’s quite the experience.

This year is no different.

Sometimes they’re hard to spot, but they’re out there.

Hawk Festival Weekend is a tradition for Kathleen and John Etchison.

“It’s been a fun outing for us in the past and just hope to see lots of birds,” said Kathleen.

The annual event knows how to draw in a crowd.

“This is the peak time for a lot of the hawks to come through mid September,” said Hawk Ridge Observatory Count Director John Richardson.

Richardson is responsible for keeping track of the birds.

“Myself and the two other counters, we’re entering the data in right away and you can follow that live right on the web,” said Richardson.

In some cases, you don’t need binoculars to catch a glimpse of the birds as they head down south.

“People know if they’re in the hawk watching business, look out for northwest winds and that’s what we’ve got today,” said Richardson.

The Etchison’s don’t mind making the trip from the Twin Cities for the experience.

“It’s always something different. We were just talking to one of the volunteers here who showed us a lot of different pictures and birds,” said John. “Some we’ve never seen before, so it’s just real interesting.”

Coming to Hawk Festival Weekend for the birds is just one part of it.

“The whole geology of the North Shore, why this is such an important place for hawks,” said Richardson.

You don’t even have to be into birding but if you are you can view the birds until the end of November at Hawk Ridge.

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