Peregrine Falcon taken by Zach Smith.
Raptor Research
The Kiptopeke fall Hawkwatch was established by volunteers in 1977, and has recorded nearly 900,000 hawks and vultures of 19 species.  Experienced Hawkwatchers are hired each year to conduct the Hawkwatch, from September 1- November 30, assisted by a corps of dedicated volunteers. Hawkwatches are an excellent way to monitor population trends and promote conservation. A majority of hawk species in North America are showing declining numbers. It is the one of the best places in the world to see migrating Merlins and Peregrines, with daily records of 462 and 364, respectively. The fall hawk banding station at Kiptopeke, established in 1991, has examined and banded hundreds of hawks each season. There is no hawk banding research project at present. The annual College Creek Spring Hawkwatch, on the shore of the James River near Williamsburg, was established in 1997 and records an average of nearly 2,000 hawks and vultures each year. To see hawkwatch data, click this link:

  • Merlin with prey

    Zone-tailed Hawk

    Broad-winged Hawk

    Northern Harrier

    American Kestral

    Northern Goshawk







    Advisor Earl Hodnett holding 2 Peregrines

    Northern Saw-whet Owls are banded, under Master Bander Dr. Robert Reilly, at sites in Powhatan and Goochland Counties. (Photo by Jethro Runco)