Great Outdoors: Hawk Ridge Embraces Spring Migration

Great Outdoors: Spring has just begun, but the birds are breaking records.

DULUTH, Minn.- The sun is shining, the birds are singing and Hawk Ridge is watching and counting.

“After having two weeks of mediocre weather in the beginning of March, they’re all backlogged and here they come,” Spring count interpreter John Richardson said.

Spring bird migration is especially busy for 2019. So busy, they broke the record for the North American One Day count of a single bird passing through the Northland… Over a thousand bald eagles spotted from Enger Tower.

“We start scanning, we starting looking around and then you start to develop a pattern of where these birds are coming from,” Richardson said.

There’s more to bird counting than sitting and waiting for the birds to show. It takes preparation and patience.

“They don’t come when you want them to come, they come when they’re ready,” Richardson said.

And knowing where to look at the right moment.

“It can be hours of boredom and minutes of pandemonium,” Richardson said.

Once you learn the patterns of the birds, it makes them easier to follow. But for bird watchers, it’s more than how many they can count in a day. It’s about being ready for whatever nature gives them.

“On a day like this, I don’t care if a don’t see a bald eagle. It’s a beautiful day.”

Observers are looking forward to their next set of birds…

And their inaugural Spring Migration Festival coming up in April.

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