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Kat Dierickx | 09.14.2015

As the days grow shorter and the temperatures start to drop, birds of prey such as hawks, eagles, falcons, and osprey leave their breeding grounds across the country and begin their migration to their southern wintering grounds. 

Oregon is home to one of HawkWatch International's eight migration sites where volunteers, scientists, and birders gather on a daily basis to track, count, and occasionally catch, band, and release birds migrating through the area. 

In order to help educate the public about these incredible creatures, HawkWatch International and Outdoor Project have worked together with a few local friends to bring you a weekend full of raptors! All the events are open to all-ages and free of charge.

Friday Night Birds and Beers at Migration Brewery 

September 18, 6:00 - 8:00 PM at Migration Brewery 

Come meet a live raptor up close with Close Encounters and have some beers with the HawkWatch International and Outdoor Project. Migration Brewery is generously donating 10% of beer sales!

Saturday Raptor ID Workshop at Pro Photo Supply and Field Trip to Sauvie Island

September 19, 10:00 - 11:00 AM, Raptor ID Workshop and 11:30 AM - noon, Photo Workshop at Pro Photo Supply. 1:00 - 3:00 PM, Hawkwatching Field Trip at Sauvie Island

HawkWatch International is hosting a free Raptor ID Workshop to help hone your identification skills for the migration season. Meet a live raptor from Close Encounters. After the workshop, we will go on a hawkwatching field trip at Sauvie Island to put those new ID skills to practice.

Gary Davenport and our friends at Pro Photo Supply will be hosting a photo workshop right after the Raptor ID Workshop. Stick around for some wildlife photography tips and tricks from the professionals. Afterward, take your camera on our hawkwatching field trip and put those photography tips to practice.

Sunday Migration Day at Bonney Butte

September 20, 8:00 - 5:00 PM at Bonney Butte

Raptor migration is one of the greatest spectacles of the skies! Come visit a live migration research site for a day of outdoor fun and hawkwatching. HawkWatch International's Bonney Butte migration site is located in Mount Hood National Forest and has been in operation for more than 20 years. Enjoy the drive and hike in the forest, and spend some time at the site with the HawkWatch crew who will help you spot and identify migrating raptors. Banding operations take place at the site, so chances are you'll get the rare opportunity to see wild raptors that were just trapped and banded.

Fun Facts about Bonney Butte

  • The Bonney Butte HawkWatch is one of eight long-term, annual migration counts conducted by HawkWatch International.
  • 2015 will be the 22nd season of fall migration counts at Bonney Butte HawkWatch.
  • This site records up to 18 species a year with counts averaging between 2,000 and 4,000 migrants. 
  • The top 3 species observed at the site are sharp-shinned hawk, Cooper's hawk and red-tailed hawk
  • The sharp-shinned Hawk is an accipiter (forest dwelling) and the most common hawk in North America. While you might see them haunting backyard bird feeders, they aren't there to feed on millet or sunflower; they prey on the songbirds eating the feed. 

If you can't join us in Oregon this weekend, visit to learn more about their other migration sites across the west. 

Bridger Mountains, MT

Chelan Ridge, WA

Commissary Ridge, WY

Corpus Christi, TX

Goshute Mountains, NV

Grand Canyon, AZ

Manzano Mountains, NM



Bonney Butte is a pretty amazing site! Can't wait to get up there with everyone! Here's a photo of when HawkWatch International and Outdoor Project first intersected. Thanks to Ty and Jared for visiting.
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