The Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory in Duluth kicks off its annual Hawk Weekend Festival Friday.
The festival includes presentations Friday evening, and a variety of field trips, workshops, interpretive programs and live bird demonstrations Saturday and Sunday.
Every year, raptors migrating south from summer breeding areas concentrate by the thousands at the western tip of Lake Superior. That's because most raptors don't like crossing large bodies of water, so they follow the lakeshore to Duluth, where the Hawk Ridge overlook is a popular place for spotting them. On a good day, visitors can see hundreds of birds fly by.
Raptors begin migrating through Duluth in mid-August and continue through November. The Observatory recorded a heavy surge Sept. 11-12 when more than 9,000 hawks and other birds were counted.