Broad-winged Migration

Broad-winged hawk at Bent of the River, Connecticut, Sept 2016 (photo from Wikimedia Commons)

Every year, beginning in late August, broad-winged hawks (Buteo platypterus) head south on a 4,500 mile journey from their nesting territories in North America to their winter grounds in Central and South America.  It’s a journey many of us witness at Pennsylvania hawk watches. 

Unlike other hawks, broad-wings usually travel together. Though not in organized flocks they cue off each other to find the best travel conditions. This brings them together on migration.

The Allegheny Front Hawk Watch, 1.5 hours from Pittsburgh, saw 119 broad-winged hawks last Saturday but will peak September 13-15 with close to 2,000. Other Pennsylvania hawk watches will count even more.

Visit Hawkcount.org to see the latest statistics and find a hawk watch near you. Plan a visit soon.

Broad-winged hawk on migration, Bentsen Rio-Grande, March 2018 (photo by Bettina Arrigoni via Wikimedia Commons)

Meanwhile, keep looking up. There’s a good chance you’ll see a broad-winged hawk overhead in the next couple of weeks.

(photos from Wikimedia Commons; click on the captions to see the originals)

1 thought on “Broad-winged Migration

  1. It amazes me, Kate, that we have had another “bowing and mating, egg laying, hatches, bandings, and fledgings, season behind us. Where DOES the time go? Now they all disperse, the snow will come and we will wait for February sitings again. I think this is the 20th year I have been through all of this with you from afar. None of it would be the same without you guiding us through it all. Thank you. 🙂

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