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Florida Keys, Florida

Hawks migrating down the Atlantic Coast arrive at the Florida Keys and are faced with a hundred miles of open ocean. Many individuals choose to settle down and remain in the area for long periods; some even stay the entire winter. Others, meanwhile, cross to Cuba and on to the Caribbean or South America. And then there are those that head back to the north and follow the Gulf Coast. The net result is thousands of hawks of many species throughout the area each fall. The main attraction is the hundreds of Peregrine Falcons that aggregate along the coast to prey on the large flocks of shorebirds. Merlins are also abundant from mid-September through October.

To learn more about this site, visit the Florida Keys Raptor Migration Project Web site.

Peregrine Falcon, adult

Peregrine Falcon, adult
Tom McHugh/Photo Researchers, Inc.

Timing Your Visit

The chart below shows the time periods when each species is most abundant. Please remember that the data is based on past records, and the passage of birds can vary greatly from year to year. Click on the name of a species to learn more about its migratory habits.

Species
September
October
November
December
Osprey                                
Northern Harrier                                
Sharp-shinned Hawk                                
Cooper's Hawk                                
Broad-winged Hawk                                
American Kestrel                                
Merlin                                
Peregrine Falcon                                
 

 

 

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