The Hawk Highway


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One of the top five places in the world for viewing migrating bald eagles is right next door in Iowa


Provided by Wachiska Audubon Society

September through December, raptor enthusiasts gather 20 minutes north of Omaha, Neb., at Hitchcock Nature Center to observe and count thousands of hawks, eagles and vultures migrating south. The broad expanse of the adjacent Missouri River Valley and the updrafts created by the prevailing westerly winds striking the Loess Hills create a “hawk highway,” which attracts migrating birds of prey. Hitchcock Nature Center has been recognized as one of the top five hawkwatches in the world for viewing migrating bald eagles. November is an especially good time to view these majestic avians on their journey south, but the watch continues through December.

Facts about Hitchcock Nature Center’s HawkWatch include:

*Hitchcock’s HawkWatch is recognized as one of the top 25 birding sites in North America.

*It is one of the top five hawkwatches in the world for viewing migrating bald eagles.

*This is one of four sites in the world with over 500 bald eagles migrating annually.

*Hitchcock Nature Center was named the first Important Birding Area in Iowa.

*In fall 2007, over 9,000 migrating raptors were counted as they flew past Hitchcock’s viewing deck and tower; as of mid-October this year, 8,092 raptors have already been counted, including 3,527 turkey vultures and 1,775 red-tailed hawks.

There is a $2 per vehicle entrance fee for the nature center. If you plan to stay awhile, consider bringing a snack.

Visiti and click on "Hawk Watch" foir more information, including a link to a short video and to download a raptor guide.


Immigration in Nebraska