On the Wing

On the Wing (HM1GNV)

Location: Fort Washington, PA 19034 Montgomery County
Country: United States of America

N 40° 7.234', W 75° 13.355'

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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.

Invisible Expressways

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?


(left) Migration Patterns at Militia Hill

(center) Broad-winged hawk

(right) Red-shouldered hawk
Placed ByIConservePA, DCNR, Hawk Mountain
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, October 12th, 2014 at 5:14am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18T E 481033 N 4441162
Decimal Degrees40.12056667, -75.22258333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 40° 7.234', W 75° 13.355'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds40° 7' 14.04" N, 75° 13' 21.3" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)215, 267, 610, 484
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling North
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 2214 St Park Rd, Fort Washington PA 19034, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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