Minnesota Sights and Views

Birdwatching at Hawk Ridge Duluth This Fall

Stunning hawks and more migrate through the Hawks Ridge Bird Observatory in Duluth each fall

Though there are still plenty of warm summer days to enjoy up on the North Shore, we can’t help but turn our attention to the crisp, cool evenings of fall that are on the horizon.  The fall season has great opportunities to see fall colors and birds, especially at places like Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory in Duluth. In fact, the North Shore is home to some of the best birdwatching in Minnesota, especially in September and October during the peak bird migration.

To truly experience the quiet beauty of Duluth and Lake Superior, you’ll need a few days.  There are two exceptional Bed and Breakfasts in Duluth that offer incomparable lodging experiences and exceptional hospitality.  Solglimt Bed and Breakfast, located near Canal Park on the shores of Lake Superior, offers unbeatable lakefront views, boating watching, and intimate accommodations.  The AG Thomson House, located in Duluth’s Congdon Mansion District, offers views overlooking Duluth & Lake Superior, with a refined sense of elegance only a historic home like this can offer.

Both Inns offer exceptional breakfasts featuring the finest local ingredients, welcoming midwest hospitality, a broad range of amenities, and an unbeatable getaway. There are truly no other accommodations in Duluth that match the attention to detail offered at these properties. Book a room at one of these Duluth Bed and Breakfasts today.

Stunning hawks and more migrate through the Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory in Duluth each fall

Birdwatching at Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory

When it comes to birdwatching in Duluth, especially if you’re on the lookout for raptors, you can’t beat an afternoon at Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory. The hawk migration begins in mid-August and typically will last through December. These migrating raptors are moving from their breeding grounds as far north as the arctic and are heading to their wintering grounds as far south as South America. During the fall migration, these birds gather in huge numbers right here on the shores of Lake Superior and can be viewed easily from places like Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory.

There are roughly 20 species of raptors that migrate through the Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory each year, with the rarest being peregrine falcons and gyrfalcons. In mid-August, the earliest birds to appear at the observatory are American kestrels, sharp-shinned hawks, and broad-winged hawks. The latest, in December, are generally red-tailed and rough-legged hawks, northern goshawks, and eagles. Peak migration at Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory occurs from mid-September to late October.

Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory begins a raptor count in mid-august, and it continues through the end of November. Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory also hosts an annual Hawk Weekend Festival.  This year’s event will take place September 17 – 19, 2021. The event will feature various field trips, hikes, programs, and activities centered around the fall migration.

Beautiful views of Duluth while birdwatching at the Hawks Ridge Observatory in Duluth

More Great Birdwatching in Duluth

Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory isn’t the only great place to watch the annual bird migration in Duluth!  In fact, many of the area’s parks and trails offer their own exciting ecosystem to observe these beautiful creatures.  Here are a few of our favorite birdwatching hotspots around Duluth:

  1. Get out of the city and drive north along the North Shore Scenic Drive. You’ll not only enjoy some of the best fall colors in the Midwest, but you’ll also find plenty of birdwatching along the way.
  2. If you don’t want to leave downtown Duluth, make the trip to Lester-Amity Park, Hartley Park, Bagley Nature Area at UMD, Mission Creek Park, Magney-Snively Natural Area, and Enger Park. All of these parks offer plenty of treed habitat for migrating birds.
  3. Park Point Recreation Area is a great place to admire Lake Superior while enjoying some fall birdwatching.  You’ll see various birds here, including shorebirds, longspurs, pipits, songbirds, raptors, merlins, kingbirds, waxwings, and more than 20 species of warblers. Hearding Island, just offshore of Park Point, is also a great birdwatching destination.
  4. Mud Lake, a backwater portion of the St. Louis River, is the best place to go in search of waterfowl, especially in the later months of fall.
  5. Stoney Point and Sucker Bay are other popular places to see raptors, in addition to woodpeckers, corvids, finches, and more. Sometimes, you can even see loons, grebes, Bald Eagles, and waterfowl here, especially later in the season.

Two Beautiful & Historic Inns

After a thrilling day of birdwatching at Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory or one of the other great locations listed above, we know you’ll be ready to kick back and relax. Skip the traditional hotel stay, and instead choose one of our incredible Duluth Bed and Breakfasts. Between the elegance of the A.G. Thomson House Bed and Breakfast and the serene waterfront location of Solglimt Bed and Breakfast, you can’t go wrong.

Solglimt Lakeshore Bed and Breakfast is situated on the sandy shores of Park Point and is the only lakefront Bed and Breakfast in Duluth.  You’ll be nestled up against the beautiful shores of Lake Superior, where you have ample opportunity to watch ships and wildlife come and go. Alternatively, the A.G. Thomson House Bed and Breakfast offers an upscale, luxury experience. This beautiful Inn is nestled on 2 beautifully landscaped and private acres, which gives you plenty of places to spread out enjoy the changing of the seasons this fall.

Top-Rated Duluth Bed and Breakfasts

Solglimt Lakeshore Bed and Breakfast

A.G. Thomson House Bed and Breakfast Duluth Minnesota

A.G. Thomson House Bed and Breakfast



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