Important Bird Areas

Lake Erie Metropark Hawk Watch

Michigan

A world-class hawk migration funnel at the mouth of the Detroit River. Includes only the air space within 3 miles of the main hawkwatching areas.

Ornithological Summary

The air column above the mouth of the Detroit River is flooded by migratory raptors heading south each fall, attempting to round the west end of Lake Erie without having to cross water. The site supports world-class counts of Broad-winged Hawks, including a single day world record count of over 500,000 individuals in mid September 1999. The exact location of the crossing on any given day is subject to prevailing winds and random processes, but typically the bulk cross in the southernmost 1-3 miles of the Detroit River, and few individuals cross over the water of Lake Erie unless there are strong north winds.