hawk's ridge

I made a plan to visit Hawk’s Ridge in Duluth earlier this summer as I read about the fantastic view of migration as a variety of raptors and birds take advantage of the winds and descend from the Northern areas of Minnesota and Canada to warmer climates.

Our trip started out camping for a night at the Jay Cooke State Park. I’ve passed the sign hundreds of times heading up north, but this was my first visit, which is a beautiful spot. Hard wood forests are dramatically surrounded by mountains of slate and the St Louis river forges it’s way through the park. Arriving late in the evening we quickly set up our tent and made a fire. In the dark, we heard owls hooting, one of my favorite sounds.

The next morning started off drizzling. As it cleared, we hiked around and found masses of black capped chickadees in the white pines, hopping from limb to limb. Setting up the camp stove to make eggs and coffee the thunder started to roll. It’s amazing how quickly a storm can come up and how quickly we can strike camp. Our eggs we’re eaten in the car.

A beautiful drive along the river brought us to Duluth and the sky started to clear. We headed up through the U MD campus and to the ridge. Along the roadside, many we’re gathered with cameras and chairs to watch. The naturalists we’re amazing, sharing their knowledge and pointing out birds as the rose above the ridge. Lots of sharp shinned hawks, or as most call them sharpies. There we’re also Ospreys, Turkey Vultures and a few broad winged and red tail hawks.

Emily Donovan