Monday was a banner day at Hawk Ridge in Duluth, where in 12 1/2 hours counters Karl Bardon and Steve Kolbe tallied 6,622 raptors. Mid-September always marks the peak of the broad-winged hawk migration, and on Monday more than 5,500 broadwings were observed, bringing the broadwing season total to 13,385. That’s nowhere near the single-day record for broadwings at Hawk Ridge. On Sept. 15, 2003, nearly 102,000 broadwings coursed over the ridge.
Also on Monday, the count included 876 sharp-shinned hawks, 57 bald eagles, 45 American kestrels and numerous other species.Through Monday, this fall’s total hawk count is at 19,331. Counting began in mid-August, and 18,771 hawks have been counted in September so far.
From 1991 to 2013, the total fall hawk migration over Hawk Ridge has averaged 76,000 raptors, according to Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory. The main overlook at Hawk Ridge, free and open to the public, is one mile east of Glenwood Street on Skyline Parkway. For more information about Hawk Ridge, go to hawkridge.org.