Friday, October 5, 2012

Hawk Mountain

We decided to take a trip over to Hawk Mountain Sanctuary today.  We aren't sure how many raptors are migrating right now but we figured we might see some.

The Hawk Mountain Sanctuary has a dramatic history.  It is the world's first refuge for birds of prey.   In 1929, Pennsylvania's Game Commission placed a $5 price tag on the goshawk's head.  This was during the Great Depression and it was a grand sum at that time.  Richard Pough came to Hawk Mountain in 1931 to see what was happening with the birds of prey in the area.  He was one of a growing number of conservationists opposed to the the plan to eradicate wildlife predators, include raptors.  When he arrived he saw gunner stationed shooting hundreds of passing hawks for sport and leaving their carcasses lying on the forest floor.  He took photographs of the dead birds.  Eventually, Rosie Edge, a New York conservationist saw the pictures.  In 1934, she came to Hawk Mountain and leased 1,400 acres.  She installed a warden on the property and by the next year the shooting had stopped entirely.  Mrs. Edge then opened the Sanctuary to the publiv as a place to see these beautiful raptors who were persecuted as birds of prey.  Later, in 1938, she deeded the property to the Hawk Mountain Sanctuary Association.  Thank goodness, these people saw the writing on the wall and stopped this crazed attempt to eradicate all the raptors.  Sometimes I can't believe what we humans do especially in the name of sport. 

To see more about Hawk Mountain, go to:

We started a hike at this point.  At first is was a bit of a climb and later the trail became really hard to hike because of all the rocks and boulders that you had to walk around.

He looks ready for winter!

This helps to identify the birds as they fly by

Trail isn't too bad here. 

You can see that the trail is much worse here!

Here's another wooly critter.

Our first raptor siting.

It was really fun when we came to these - 
yes, this is part of the trail!

Lee found a spot to sit and take pictures of raptors

These little stink bugs were a real nuisance up here

Quite a crowd gathered to watch raptors today

Beautiful views from up here
We really didn't see many raptors during our time on the mountain.  Mostly we saw turkey vultures, but we did see a Northern Harrier and a few Osprey.

We're on our way back down

Metal Sculpture near the Visitor Center

We ate dinner at the Valley View Diner in Nazareth
They have really good home-made food and desserts.  We'd highly recommend this as a stop if you are in the area.

The Valley View Diner

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