Raptor Rapture

The Blue Angels aren't the only aerial extravaganza this fall. Peaking every September and October, nearly 20,000 raptors…

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The Blue Angels aren’t the only aerial extravaganza this fall. Peaking every September and October, nearly 20,000 raptors descend on the Bay Area en route to southern climes. That’s a lot of beaks and talons—and anxious field mice. One of the best places to see this massive migration is at Hawk Hill in the Marin Headlands. Every weekend through October, venerable bird-nerds from the Golden Gate Raptor Observatory offer “Hawk Talks,” explaining the difference between a red-tail, a Cooper’s, and an osprey while you watch the birds swoop, soar, and spar for territory. The highlight is seeing one of these beauties up close at a banding demonstration: with their samurai talons, sleek plumage, and that predatory look in their eyes, these raptors are the very embodiment of wild. To watch these winged warriors in flight, bring binoculars and some snacks, and just hang out. Hawk Hill offers terrific views of the bay, too—making you wish you had wings of your own.

“Hawk Talks” begin at noon; banding demonstrations take place at 1:00 p.m. (unless it’s foggy). It all happens at Hawk Hill. For directions and more information, click here.

Lost Coast photo courtesy of Buck Forester.

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