Visitors Learn About Bird Migration at Hawk Ridge

Hawk Ridge will be set up for viewing through the end of November, giving visitors and staff the chance to enjoy the beauty of the migration process. 

DULUTH, Minn. – It’s that time of year where birds are going through their migration phase and Lake Superior is always a popular stop.

“They don’t want to expend any more energy than they really need to, so they wait for the right conditions, they’re waiting for the thermals to start rising on the lake shore here, and they get up on that thermal, once it caps off they stream away and they find another thermal. The air sinks and there’s nowhere for them to land so it’s a barrier, they want to go around it, so that’s why we see so many in Duluth,” director of Hawk Ridge John Richardson said.

Visitors at Hawk Ridge have the chance to see the birds up close.

“When you see these raptors really close and the look on people’s face when they come by and the joy and the excitement on the kids,” Richardson said.

“Just seeing all of the hawks flying and just not seeing them at the zoo, seeing them in the wild, flying right next to you,” visitors Xiao and Richard Chen said.

The Hawk Ridge workers keep track of the migration, counting the birds and taking notes on all the different types that pass through.

“Some of these birds will be coming from as far away as Northern Canada, the Northern Provinces, Alaska and they’re coming through Duluth, and they’re barely a third of the way into their journey,” Richardson added.

As we get deeper into fall, Hawk Ridge staff members say they’re expecting to see some of the bigger birds like the hawks and bald eagles.

“I’ve been looking at the hawk count and they’ve marked a bunch of broad wings and I’d like to see a few if I can,” Chen said.

Hawk Ridge will be set up for viewing through the end of November, giving visitors and staff the chance to enjoy the beauty of the migration process.

“To know that they’re going on this epic journey and explaining them to the people and the children that come and the kids are just fascinated by it,” Richardson said.

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