There has been been some postings about the Spring Raptor count in Duluth but
there was never any mention of where these counts are taking place so visitors
who find themselves in Duluth can stop by and take part of the spring raptor
movement over Duluth. Any of the counters can correct me about the locations but
here are places that I know where the counters are at counting raptors. Each of
these locations are dictated by the direction of the wind or where the raptors
are moving or the combination of both.
Thompson Hill: Coming from the south: Take I-35 north to Boundary Avenue exit
(Spirit Mt entrance) and take the bridge over I-35 on Boundary Avenue and as
soon you cross over the bridge take a right on W. Skyline Drive and drive a very
short distance and you will come to a wayside rest parking area and that is
where the counters can be found counting raptors. Normally counters are counting
raptors here on east, north or northeast wind days.
Coming from the north: Take I-35 south to the Boundary Ave. Exit and then take a
right and take a right on W. Skyline Dr to parking area mention above.
Enger Tower/ W. Skyline parking area: Coming from the south: Take I-35 north to
Hwy 53/ 21st Ave West exit off I-35 and proceed north on Hwy 53 up the hill. At
the first stop lights take a left on Piedmont Avenue and go 1/2 block east and
then take a left on 24th Ave West and head down the hill a very short distance
and then take left onto W. Skyline. You will be on a bridge that crosses over
Hwy 53 and continue on W. Skyline. Pass the golf course buildings on your left
and parking lot on your right and continue on a short distance on W. Skyline and
you will see a beautiful view of Duluth from W. Skyline and there are two
parking areas and the counters can be at either parking lot depending on where
the raptors are migrating and these wayside parking areas are only a few hundred
yards away from each other. Normally the counters are on wayside parking area
just below Enger Tower. The counters are normally here on days when the winds
are from the south, west or southwest wind days
Coming from the north: Take I-35 to Hwy 53/21st Ave W exit and follow the same
direction given above.
I thought this might help those who are interested in making the journey to
watch raptors over Duluth in the spring. Some people I met always felt the
spring count was at Hawk Ridge but that is not the case during the spring months
as very little raptors migrate over Hawk Ridge in the spring months and main
bulk of raptor movement is over west side of Duluth and that is why these two
count areas are located on the west side of Duluth. Also W Skyline is closed
off west of Spirit Mt to the Midway Rd / Becks Rd till May 1st so for those who
were thinking abut viewing hawks at the wayside rest area near Magney Snively
Park which offers a beautiful view of the St. Louis River.
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