Field Reports

Follow the Raptor Migration

A birder peers through a spotting scope.

Harris Center Bird Conservation Director Phil Brown uses a spotting scope to get a better view of passing raptors.

Biologists regularly record up to 15 different raptor species from platform at the Pack Monadnock Raptor Observatory. From mid-September through mid-October, significant daily and seasonal flights of Broad-winged Hawks, Sharp-shinned Hawks, Northern Goshawks, Peregrine Falcons, Ospreys, and Bald Eagles are possible. Mid-October through mid-November often brings Golden Eagles and Northern Goshawks.

During the migration season, detailed reports — including hourly raptor count and weather data, non-raptor observations, special notes, season totals, and next-day forecasts — are posted at the end of each day on, an online database managed by the Hawk Migration Association of North America (HMANA). Historic migration data are also available via, and you can find annual summaries of Pack Monadnock migration data from recent years here. Hawk Watch Coordinator Phil Brown also provides regular in-season updates below.

The Pack Monadnock Raptor Observatory is a project of the Harris Center for Conservation Education, in partnership with the State of New Hampshire Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, Division of Parks and Recreation. It was founded by New Hampshire Audubon.

Updates from the 2023 Season

September 14, 2023

Off To a Slow Start

A broadwing in flight over the Pack Monadnock Raptor Observatory. (photo © Judd Nathan)

A Broad-winged Hawk in flight over the Pack Monadnock Raptor Observatory. (photo © Judd Nathan)

After the slowest start in the project’s 19-year history, owing to the lengthy stagnant weather pattern of hot and humid days, the migration floodgates finally broke open today! Just a few days behind schedule, hundreds of Broad-winged Hawks and a number of other species began their southbound movements past the Pack Monadnock Raptor Observatory, dazzling several dozen onlookers. Broadwings, the species that comprise 75% of the annual count, will pass in large numbers for the next week or two, and several other species will reach the peak of their migration in our area. Cooler days like today with light northwest winds are best for migration conditions, and the following week — with the exception of Saturday’s forecasted high winds — should facilitate plenty of good migration over Pack.

Other raptor species migrating through in numbers now include Osprey, Bald Eagle, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Merlin, and American Kestrel. It’s also peak migration season for warblers, and Monarch butterfly tallies have been steadily increasing. There’s plenty to enjoy in mid to late September at the Observatory. Check out all the latest reports here.

Mark Your Calendars

On Sunday, September 24 at 1 p.m. sharp, the Harris Center and Wings of the Dawn are planning a raptor release at the Observatory. Plan ahead and reserve your spot with Miller State Park that afternoon, and keep in mind that parking may be full at the summit on busy weekend days such as this one.

And, a last-minute reminder that I’ll be giving a Zoom presentation on the Raptors of Pack Monadnock with a focus on identification tonight at 7 p.m. I hope to ‘see’ you there!

Wishing you a good migration season!

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August 29, 2023

Gearing up for the Hawk Watch

A Broad-winged Hawk in flight, its wings facing down. (photo © Andre Moraes /

A Broad-winged Hawk in flight.
(photo © Andre Moraes /

On Friday, September 1, we’ll begin our 19th consecutive season of monitoring migrating raptors and educating visitors at the Pack Monadnock Raptor Observatory.

Miller State Park and the NH Department of Natural and Cultural Resources remain our hosts and partners. As always, the Observatory relies on various funding sources, including private contributions – so thanks in advance for your continued support of this important conservation research and education project.

In 2023, the Observatory welcomes Levi Burford and Katrina Fenton as Seasonal Raptor Biologists and lead counters five days per week (Wednesday through Sunday). Volunteers Iain MacLeod (Mondays), Julie and Phil Brown (Tuesdays), and a combination of several other longtime observers will round out our lineup.

We’re gearing up for a couple of events – a Migratory Raptors of Pack Monadnock Zoom program on September 14 and the Big Sit on October 7. Otherwise, it will be business as usual, and we welcome all to come learn about the science and spectacle of migration with us!

The Observatory is staffed every day, weather permitting, from September 1 through November 20. While the Hawk Watch is free to visit, as always, reservations for Miller State Park are strongly recommended to guarantee your space on the mountain. Check out our Visiting the Hawk Watch page to plan your trip.

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Contact Us

For more information on the Pack Monadnock Raptor Observatory or to volunteer, please contact Bird Conservation Director Phil Brown.