Detroit River Hawk Watch

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Go to the IWRA website, click on the Paypal donation link and put a message in the form indicating this donation is for the DRHW. Thank you for your support!
Welcome!
The Detroit River runs from Lake St. Clair in the north to Lake Erie in the south, forming part of the border between Michigan in the United States and Ontario in Canada. During the autumn months, the lower Detroit River becomes a corridor for the passage of migratory birds, and has gained international recognition for the annual volume of birds of prey. Hundreds of thousands of migrating hawks, eagles, falcons, and vultures are concentrated at this location where it is possible to systematically count them each year.

A standardized monitoring program - the Detroit River Hawk Watch - is conducted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge (DRIWR), and its friends group, the International Wildlife Refuge Alliance (IWRA), at the Lake Erie Metropark in Gibraltar, MI. Join us at the Boat Launch and witness spectacular flights of Broad-winged Hawks, Turkey Vultures, Sharp-shinned Hawks, and both Bald and Golden Eagles! See the Calendar of Hawk Movement below for numbers and types of raptors expected each season.


Recent Announcements
DRHW Welcomes Back Kevin Georg as their Fall 2018 Counter
Kevin Georg has accepted an offer to return as this year's Head Counter. Kevin served as our Head Counter last year and was a welcome addition to the Detroit River Hawk Watch family. Welcome back, Kevin!
Posted Jun 21, 2018, 6:02 PM by Webmaster
Announcing the Hawk Migration Association of North America’s 2018 Conference, "Soaring Toward the Future: New Challenges in Raptor Migration."
Conference Keynote Speakers Kate Davis, author and founder of the nonprofit Raptors of the Rockies, is our opening Keynote speaker. She will talk about her 30 years as a raptor educator at schools throughout the West. Todd Katzner, research biologist, will be our Saturday evening keynote speaker. He will talk about his research with Eastern Golden Eagles and how little was known about their migration ecology.
Posted Jun 21, 2018, 5:59 PM by Webmaster
Calendar of Hawk Movement
Seasonal distributions of raptors through the Detroit River Hawk Watch site between 01 September and 30 November.
Results based on 3-day running average of count data collected between 1991 - 2008.
Click image to enlarge.

Calendar of hawk movement

YouTube video:
Broad-winged Hawk Kettles, 17 Sep 2009
- courtesy of Mark Wloch
The US Fish & Wildlife Service announced the selection of Ms. Susan White as the Project Leader for Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge, Trenton, MI. Ms. White is currently the Monuments Supervisor located in Hawai'i for 4 Marine National Monuments, leading and coordinating management of more than 576 million acres of ocean, islands, and atolls in the Pacific Ocean. Read more here.
Posted May 3, 2018, 5:29 PM by Webmaster
Broad-winged Hawks, Detroit River Hawk Watch, Sept. 17, 2009
Golden eagle
The 2017 count was the 35th consecutive season of monitoring diurnal raptor and Turkey Vulture migration at the mouth of the Detroit River, and the 20th year of consistent coverage at Lake Erie Metropark. There were 636.75 hours of data collection with counts conducted on 89 days between 1 September and 30 November.
Posted Dec 21, 2017, 1:06 PM by Webmaster
First Golden Eagle and Swainson's Hawk
Kevin and Andrew reported seeing the first Golden Eagle and Swainson's Hawk of the season. Sadly, neither passed close enough for a photo. Congratulations, guys!
Posted Oct 10, 2017, 5:55 PM by Webmaster

Broad-winged hawkBroad-winged Hawks (Buteo platypterus)

concentrate at the lower Detroit River each September after nesting in deciduous or mixed-deciduous forests of Ontario.
Tens of thousands of these raptors will pass overhead on their way to wintering areas in South America.  
Photo courtesy of Andrew Sturgess. Click image to enlarge.
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