Fort Washington in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
On the Wing
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.
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” 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?
(center) Broad-winged hawk
(right) Red-shouldered hawk
Erected by iConservePA, DCNR, Hawk Mountain.
Location. 40° 7.234′ N, 75° 13.355′ W. Marker is in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania, in Montgomery County. Marker can be reached from State Park Road 0.3 miles south of Militia Hill Road, on the left when traveling south. Touch for map. Located at the Militia Hill Hawk Observation Tower in Fort Washington State Park. Marker is at or near this postal address: 420 Militia Hill Road, Fort Washington PA 19034, United States of America.
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 (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 Fort Washington.
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.)
Categories. • Animals • Environment •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 16, 2014, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 158 times since then and 14 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on September 16, 2014, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.