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You are here: Home - Birding Sites - Hawkwatching

Hawkwatching in Maryland

Maryland has a number of hawks and falcons on its bird list. Some are accidental visitors, but many can be seen regularly in the appropriate season and habitat. The sites below provide extraordinary viewing opportunities during fall or spring migration, as noted.

*Fort Smallwood Park
Pasadena, MD
(Spring Migration)
Fort Smallwood Park, in northern Anne Arundel County, is likely the best spot along the entire East Coast for observing spring raptor migration. Follow these links for more information and directions to the site.

Fort Smallwood Park

Directions To Fort Smallwood and Site Map

Town Hill
Allegany County, MD
(Fall Migration)

This relatively new site, located in Allegany County, features a long, roofed shelter with a great view of the valley to the east. Take I70 west which you can pick up at Baltimore or, if coming from the DC area, at Frederick. Just past Hancock, take I68 west. You enter Allegany Co. at the foot of and on this side of Sideling Hill. Town Hill is the next ridge as you travel west. Exit I68 at Orleans Road, exit 68. Bear right as you come off the exit and continue to a stop sign at Scenic Rt. 40. Turn left on 40 and drive to the top of the ridge (no more than 1 mile). As you reach the top, the Town Hill Hotel is on your right and the hawk watch is on your left just opposite the hotel. DeLorme page 69, A4.

*Turkey Point
Cecil County, MD
(Fall Migration)
The Turkey Point Hawk Watch in Cecil County is one of Marylandís oldest hawk watches, operating on a volunteer basis since 1994. The hawk watch is in operation daily (weather permitting) from the Tuesday after Labor Day through Thanksgiving weekend, and the counters welcome visitors. In fall 2012, volunteers counted 3,658 raptors. Call Pat Valdata for additional information at 410-398-2603 or send her e-mail at Statistics for this hawk watch are provided courtesy of the Cecil Bird Club. Directions: From I-95 Exit 100, go South on MD Route 272 to the end of the road (13.5 miles) in Elk Neck State Park. Walk approximately 1 mile to the site.

*Washington Monument SP
Washington Co, MD
(Fall/Spring Migration)
A regular but fairly informal watch atop the monument which straddles South Mountain in Boonesboro. One or more counters is present many days, at least through the morning hours; volunteers are most needed in the afternoons. Located off Alt. Route 40, near Boonsboro, MD. Take I-70 to Frederick and go West on Alt. 40 to Monument Road. Take Monument Road to the park entrance. Follow the right fork about 1/2 mile into the park to the Monument Trail. The hawk watch is located at the top of the tower, about a 1/4 mile walk uphill. For further information about the hawk watch contact Paul Newton; to determine if the park is open, call park headquarters at 301-701-791-4767. The view from the stone tower is breathtaking. As its name implies, the tower is a monument to our first President. The view alone is worth the visit, but since the Cumberland Valley is a migatory bird flyway, the park offers excellent all around birdwatching opportunities. The Appalachian Trail winds through the park and passes the base of the monument. You can go to a nice Web site, Washington Monument Hawk Watch, a labor of love by Maryland birder Dave Russell, which has much information, pictures, links and many statistics.

Table Rock
Garrett County, MD
(Fall Migration)
This Garrett County site is located along Table Rock Road at the crest of Backbone Mountain and just off of US route 50 approximately two miles east of Red House Md. Red House is located at the intersection of US route 50 and route 219 app. 10 miles southwest of Oakland, Md. If you're coming from Red House and heading east on route 50, Table Rock road turns off to the right in a right-hand turn almost directly at the crest of the mountain. There is a small clearing on the right hand side of the road almost as soon as you turn onto Table Rock Road. With care you can pull your vehicle into the clearing. Or you can just park your car along the side of the road by the clearing. Claudia Wilds mentions this general area in her book, Finding Birds in the National Capital Area but may not have mentioned the hawk watching aspect. She touts an area farther out Table Rock road as being good for Mourning Warblers and other species. Olin Pettingill also mentions this area in his older Birding Finding East. The site can be very productive. The drawbacks are no facilities and a lot of local traffic. There is a small restaurant along route 219 heading into Oakland that offers good home-cooked style food and restrooms. It's about a ten minute drive from Table Rock. The advantages are that you can drive right to the spot and actually hawk watch from your car if you wish. In addition to hawk watching, this part of Garrett County can also be very productive for songbirds, shorebirds and waterfowl. Any one wanting information on the site can phone Gary Felton at 304-454-9251.

*Site statistics are available for some of these locations. Click on the name of the site to see them.