COVID-19 UPDATE: The Harris Center building will be closed to visitors until further notice. Our trails and grounds remain open.
Celebrating 15 Years of Migration Monitoring & Education
The fall hawk migration is one of the great wonders of the natural world, and we’re fortunate to have one of New England’s premier locations for watching the migration right here in our backyard: the Pack Monadnock Raptor Observatory, now entering its 15th consecutive year of hawk migration data collection near the summit of Pack Monadnock in Miller State Park in Peterborough. The Observatory not only provides valuable, long-term data on fall-migrating raptors, it also reaches thousands of people annually through both casual and formal learning opportunities.
Joining us for the 2019 hawk migration season are Phil Brown (Hawk Watch Coordinator) and Levi Burford (Seasonal Raptor Biologist). Both bring a wealth of birding experience — Phil as the coordinator of the Pack Monadnock Raptor Observatory for the last eleven years, and Levi as an avid raptor enthusiast and Observatory volunteer.
A young birder studies a guide to hawk silhouettes. (photo © Ben Conant)
A Red-shouldered Hawk in flight. (photo © Diana Robinson)
Visiting the Pack Monadnock Raptor Observatory
Weather permitting, the Observatory will be staffed every day from Sept. 1 through Nov. 15. Peak hawk migration runs from mid-September through mid-October, but early- and late-season spectacles can be found, as well. Visitors are most welcome!
The Observatory is located at an overlook 0.2 mile from the small parking lot at the summit of Pack Monadnock. (Plan ahead, as this lot often fills early on weekends in September and October.) Visitors can also park in the large lot at the base of the mountain, and hike to the summit via the Auto Road (1.3 miles one-way), the Marion Davis Trail (1.4 miles one-way), or the Wapack Trail (approx. 1.6 miles one-way).
There is no fee to visit the Observatory, but there is a fee to enter Miller State Park: $4 per adult and $2 for children age 6 to 11. Children age 5 and under, and NH residents 65 and older, are free. For more information on entrance fees, trails, and other details, please visit the Miller State Park website.
The trail from the summit parking area to the Observatory is 0.2 miles long, and ADA-accessible.
The Observatory is open to the public, but reservations are required for large groups. If you’d like to bring a group to the Hawk Watch, please contact Miller State Park (603-924-3672) in advance to avoid scheduling conflicts. The earlier, the better!
Binoculars are a helpful tool at the Raptor Observatory! (photo © Ben Conant)
A rehabilitated raptor is released back to the wild at the Pack Monadnock Raptor Observatory. (photo © Andre Moraes)
We’re planning several special events in celebration of hawk migration season. We do hope you’ll join us for one — or all!
- Monadnock Region Birding Cup throughout the region on Sept. 14
- Raptors on Blueberry Ridge — featuring a live hawk — at Crotched Mountain on Sept. 15
- Raptor Migration in NH: What the Numbers Tell Us at the Harris Center on Sept. 16
- Raptor Release at the Pack Monadnock Raptor Observatory on Sept. 22
- “Big Sit” Migration Watch at the Pack Monadnock Raptor Observatory on Oct. 12
- Live Birds of Prey with Raptor Rehabilitator Tom Ricardi at the Harris Center on Oct. 26
- Young Birders Club: Raptors Over Pack Monadnock on Oct. 26
For more information on the Pack Monadnock Raptor Observatory, please contact Phil Brown at (603) 525-3499 or by email.