2. Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory, Duluth, Minnesota
A little over 2 hours north of Minneapolis, Duluth sits on the southern shore of Lake Superior, a hawk-watchers paradise. “Hawks coming south from Canada don’t like to cross over the Great Lakes,” says Mehlman. “They go around one side or the other, so you get this funnel where they congregate.” The observatory estimates that more than 94,000 hawks are seen there every year, some migrating from as far north as the Arctic Circle. Birds start appearing in mid-August, so over Labor Day weekend, you’ll likely see American kestrels and sharp-shinned and broad-winged hawks, and maybe even a peregrine falcon or two.
Other great hawk-watching locales are Hawk Mountain in Kempton, Pennsylvania, and almost any natural area along the Texas coastline.