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Hitchcock, Iowa

This site is one of the few places where raptors using the Central Flyway are monitored. Hitchcock Nature Area is located at the edge of the Missouri River Valley where the Loess Hills deflect the prevailing westerly winds. One unique feature of the site is the regular passage of Swainson's Hawks, a species not usually found that far east. Last year's season total of 1,452 Swainson's Hawks was primarily the result of a single huge flock that passed on October 1 containing 1,114 birds. Late in the season, Red-tailed Hawks pass through in large numbers accompanied regularly by Rough-legged Hawks and Bald Eagles. This site is only "officially" monitored on weekends, but the rangers at the lodge will gladly direct visitors to the lookout points any day of the week.

To learn more about this site, visit the Hitchcock Nature Area Hawkwatch Web site.

Swainson's Hawk

Swainson's Hawk
Hugh P. Smith, Jr.

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.

Northern Harrier                                
Sharp-shinned Hawk                                
Cooper's Hawk                                
Northern Goshawk                                
Broad-winged Hawk                                
Swainson's Hawk                                
Red-tailed Hawk                                
Rough-legged Hawk                                
Bald Eagle                                
Peregrine Falcon