Natural Wonders: Hawk Mountain Sanctuary

Watch 10,000 birds take wing daily.

The Wonder Between August and December, 18,000 migrating birds of prey from 16 different species soar within view of Pennsylvania’s Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, 85 miles from Philly. Northwest winds striking Kittatinny Ridge form strong updrafts that propel raptors up to 50 mph on their journeys to South America. Volume peaks the third week of September, when thousands of broad-winged hawks ride thermals in a single day.

The Way Pack binocs and make the trip within three days after a cold front’s passage. Climb the view-heavy one-mile (one-way) Lookout Trail to 1,490-foot North Lookout. Watch for hawks advancing along the northern slope.