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Audubon to sponsor hawk watch

By Staff | Sep 30, 2011

The Potomac Valley Audubon Society will sponsor hawk-watching trips to Maryland’s Washington Monument State Park on Oct. 5 and 19.

Anyone with an interest is invited to participate in either or both trips.

The park’s monument is an official hawk-watch platform and one of the best sites in the mid-Atlantic for watching these magnificent birds as they ride the thermals that sweep along the mountain’s ridgeline.

Species that may be seen at this time include Ospreys, Bald Eagles, Northern Harriers, Sharp-shinned, Coopers Hawks, and Red-tailed Hawks.

Local naturalist Sandy Sagalkin will lead the trip and help identify the birds seen.

The park is located four miles east of Boonsboro and 1 1/2 miles north of Alternate Route 40 on Monument Road.

Participants will gather at 9 a.m. in the park’s uppermost parking lot, just below the monument. From there, the group will walk the up to the monument at the summit. The trail is not long but it is rather rough and not suitable for anyone who needs assistance.

The length of the stay at the monument will depend on how the hawk flight is going. If conditions are good, the trip leaders may stay until early afternoon. Other participants can leave whenever they wish.

The hawk-watch itself is free, but there is a fee to enter the park – $2 for Maryland residents and $3 for others.

No pre-registration is required.

Participants should bring binoculars if they have them, snacks or a lunch if they wish, and be prepared for chilly weather.