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.
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.