It’s official. Summer is coming to a rapid close, and it’s time to start planning out your fall adventures. Though many of us aren’t quite yet ready to admit it, we assure you that the excitement for fall and all of the colorful changes it brings to Minnesota is building. Not only is it beautiful in Duluth at this time of year, the cooler weather sets the perfect stage for getting outside and exploring this ruggedly charming city. One of our favorite places to send guests during the months of September and October is the Hawk Ridge Observatory. The fall bird migration is the perfect time to go birding, whether you’re new to the sport or a long-time birding enthusiast. Book your room at the A.G. Thomson House Bed and Breakfast today, and come help us celebrate another exciting start to fall in 2017.
Hawk Ridge Birding This Fall
Witnessing the fall bird migration is an incredible experience, and people from all over the region flock to Duluth each fall for their chance. In fact, the Hawk Ridge Observatory in Duluth was named a hotspot for the fall bird migration by Audobon Magazine, thanks mostly to its large numbers and diversity of avian visitors each fall. A wide variety of hawks, coming from as far north as the Arctic, fly through Duluth on their way to the warm winter breeding grounds. The average annual bird count is approximately 94,000 birds. In total, the Hawk Ridge Observatory sees somewhere around 20 species of raptors fly through each year. The rarest of species that visit these woods are the Peregrine Falcon and the Gyrfalcon. Though the migration typically starts in mid-August, peak migration season is from mid-September through late-October, with the final species trickling through the area into December.
This year’s Hawk Weekend Festival takes place on September 15 – 17, 2017, and promises to be a fantastic weekend of birding-themed fun. Throughout the weekend, there are field trips, workshops, presentations, social gatherings, and more.
More Birding Destinations Near Duluth
Our top recommendation for birding in Duluth is the Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory. However, if you’re looking for somewhere less crowded, or just want to see a bigger variety of Duluth’s avian population, the Duluth Audubon Society also maintains a wonderful collection of birding maps to help you enjoy this activity to its fullest. Other popular birding hotspots in the Duluth area include:
- North Shore Birding Trail: This is a great place to start finding the best birding trails in and around Duluth.
- Park Point Recreational Area: During September, you’ll enjoy 20+ species of warblers on Park Point, along with shorebirds, jaegers, gulls, terns, Snowy Owls and occasional Gyrfalcons. Waterfowl rarities include scoters, Harlequin Ducks, Long-tailed Ducks, Red-throated or Pacific loons.
- Sax Zim Bog. This is a wonderful place if you’re looking to encounter some beautiful Great Grey Owls, as well as 240 other species of migrant and breeding birds that visit this area.
- St. Louis River & Estuary: The marshy areas attract migrating birds and provide abundant nesting habitat.
- Western Waterfront Trail: One of the most popular birding spots in west Duluth for warblers and waterfowl.
- Port Terminal / Interstate Island: During the fall and winter, this is one of the best places to see Snowy Owls and Gyrfalcons.
While you’re here, maybe you want to kick up your getaway a little bit? We have the perfect solution for a romantic date night out on the town. Take advantage of our Date Night Package, and you’ll enjoy a $50 gift certificate to one of our favorite restaurants, along with other choice treats. Choices include: Lake Avenue Cafe, New Scenic Cafe, Black Woods Restaurant, Va Bene Berarducci Italian Cafe, or Tavern on the Hill. Fall in Duluth is beautiful. Come see it for yourself, and book a room at the luxurious A.G. Thomson House Bed and Breakfast.