Hawk Mountain was the first raptor sanctuary established in the world in
1934 by Rosalie Edge. her mission was to stop the shooting of birds of prey from the mountain top. Today there are many trails, bird count volunteers and education programs for the public to attend year round.
On Sunday, November 10, several PA DEN Stars gathered for a chilly event. After meeting in the Visitor Center the group first stopped at a short class on raptor identification. We were able to view two birds up close as the instructor spoke about their special qualities. She had a red-shoulderd hawk as well as a small owl. Following the class we went on to the South Lookout for our first glimpse of the valley and range of mountains. The trail was very rocky with peaks of stone spread throughout the trail. Our Hawk Mt. leader Rob, talked us in to the “short cut” trail which was quite steep and rocky.
Arriving at the head of the red trail, we were in awe of the beautiful scenery
at the pinnacle. Two weeks earlier would have shown the splashing colors of autumn. Today there remained some deep red and many brown trees. We often took the blowing leaves as potential raptors, but binoculars proved otherwise.
All in all the mile and a half trail walk was moderate, the bird count while we were present was low ( 1 bald eagle, 1 goshhawk, 2 red shoulder hawks and a peregrine falcon) but improved later in the day.
If you are ever passing through Pennsylvania, it is worth the side-trip to stop here in the fall for a view of some of mother nature’s finest raptors.
Thank you to Diane Galm for organizing the adventure.