“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Whitemarsh Township in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

On the Wing

On the Wing Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bernard Fisher, September 13, 2014
1. On the Wing Marker
In North America, migrating raptors travel along several migratory routes. This hawk watch site sits along the eastern-most route, known as the Atlantic Coastal Flyway. Birds fly south for the winter from northeastern Canada and the United States, following the Appalachian mountains and the Atlantic coastline as far south as Argentina. Each species migrates on its own schedule; years of hawk-watching have shown which times are best for spotting each species.

Invisible Expressways
To travel the longest distance using the least amount of energy, birds take advantage of thermals. Raptors spiral high into the air in these rising columns of hot air and then use that height to glide until they can catch another thermal.

Surfing on the Mountain
Another way birds use air currents to their advantage is by slope surfing or slope soaring. When winds from the north and west blow up against the Appalachian mountain chain, the wind is deflected up. That creates a wave of air that birds surf for long distances, using very little energy.

Be a Raptor Ranger
Launch your own “hawk”
Militia Hill Hawk Observation Tower image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bernard Fisher
2. Militia Hill Hawk Observation Tower
Click or scan to see
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migration at home. Create paper airplanes and see which one travels farthest. Do different types of wings and tails work better than others? Can your plane catch a breeze to surf farther?

(left) Migration Patterns at Militia Hill
(center) Broad-winged hawk
(right) Red-shouldered hawk
Erected by iConservePA, DCNR, Hawk Mountain.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: AnimalsEnvironment.
Location. 40° 7.234′ N, 75° 13.355′ W. Marker is in Whitemarsh Township, Pennsylvania, in Montgomery County. Marker can be reached from Saint Park Road, 0.3 miles south of Militia Hill Road, on the left when traveling south. Located at the Militia Hill Hawk Observation Tower in Fort Washington State Park. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 420 Militia Hill Road, Fort Washington PA 19034, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Birds of a Feather (here, next to this marker); Is That an Eagle? (a few steps from this marker); Helping Hands (a few steps from this marker); Hope Lodge (approx. 0.4 miles away); a different marker also named Hope Lodge (approx. half a mile away); Fort Washington
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(approx. 0.8 miles away); Whitemarsh (approx. 1.6 miles away); St. Peter's Church (approx. 3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Whitemarsh Township.
Also see . . .
1. Militia Hill Hawk Watch. (Submitted on September 16, 2014.)
2. Hawk Mountain Sanctuary. (Submitted on September 16, 2014.)
3. Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. (Submitted on September 16, 2014.)
4. iconserve Pennsylvania. (Submitted on September 16, 2014.)
Credits. This page was last revised on January 4, 2021. It was originally submitted on September 16, 2014, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia. This page has been viewed 264 times since then and 18 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on September 16, 2014, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia.

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Dec. 5, 2022