Home Santa Ana Nat'l Wildlife Refuge Back to Story List

Hawk Watch at Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge (SANWR)
By Christine Donald, Outdoor Recreation Planner
published June 2017




If you are interested in volunteering for next year's Hawk Migration, please contact Santa Ana NWR for more information and to sign up.
Call 956-784-7500.
The Hawk Watch at SANWR is an annual survey of all hawks that are migrating through the Rio Grande Valley. The Hawk Watch is March 15th- April 15th at SANWR. It begins early in the morning around 7:30 AM and runs till after lunch around 1:00 PM with volunteers, wildlife biologists, and bird lovers counting the number of hawk species during that time.

Visitors and birding lovers are welcome to come out and learn about the process and even volunteer if they want to get involved. Visitors are welcome to come after that time on their own or even get higher to view the migrating hawks on our 40 foot observation tower, which is a 15-20 minute walk from the visitor center. There are around 22 species of hawks that can be seen and often in large numbers. There is something powerful and magnificent about seeing these beautiful birds of prey gliding effortlessly high in the sky. Data collected gives information on hawk migration patterns, behaviors, and creates awareness.

SANWR has been conducting the hawk watch since 1990 and is dedicated to the conservation and preservation of hawks. All the data is sent in electronically to Hawk Migration Association of North America who works through all the data to get information on the number of species, count of a particular species, time of migration, and much more.