All eyes on the sky above Amherstburg for the annual Festival of Hawks


Bird watchers will have their eyes on the sky above Amherstburg this weekend looking for raptors of all shapes and sizes.

Saturday is the annual Festival of Hawks as tens of thousands of hawks and raptors will fly overhead on their annual journey to nesting grounds in the south.

The Essex Region Conservation Authority, in partnership with the Holiday Beach Migration Observatory (HBMO), will host the annual event that will feature a range of educational activities and nature-themed programming.

HBMO experts will be on-site conducting hawk and hummingbird banding and adoptions while other local experts will be on-site to teach on a wide range of birding and nature-related topics.

ERCA spokesperson Danielle Breault Stuebing says this is the general time of the great hawk migration.

"Because of the unique geography of the Holiday Beach Conservation Area, it's actually been identified as one of the top hawk watching places in all of North American to see birds travel through in really great numbers."

She says there will be experts on-hand to offer a lot of information on birding and nature-related topics.

"A great introductory talk about all the hawks in flight given by Bob Pettit from the Holiday Beach Migration Observatory and a really cool forest walk taking place in the afternoon."

The Festival will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sept. 18 at the  Holiday Beach Conservation Area on County Road 50, on Lake Erie near Malden Centre.

Festival admission fee of $15 per vehicle is in effect.

The best raptor viewing time is from 9 a.m. until noon when the hawks fly low.