Celebrate 35th annual HawkWatch on Oct. 5

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The Driftless Area Wetlands Centre, in Marquette, will host the 35th annual HawkWatch this Saturday, Oct. 5. Among the highlights will be “Iowa Birds of Prey” live bird programs at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. (North Iowa Times file photo)

On Saturday, Oct. 5, the Driftless Area Wetlands Centre, in partnership with the Upper Iowa Audubon Society, Raptor Resource Project and Driftless Area Bird Conservation, will host the 35th annual HawkWatch. This event celebrates the magnificent fall migration of hundreds of thousands of raptors and other birds along the Mississippi River Flyway. 

HawkWatch is a free event, designed to appeal to everyone, including families, amateur birders and raptor enthusiasts. HawkWatch activities will be held at the Driftless Area Wetlands Centre, located at 509 U.S. 18, in Marquette. Daytime activities will begin at 10 a.m. and will wrap up at 3 p.m. The Big Blue Sky Band will hold a fundraiser concert in the evening, starting at 7 p.m. 

Birding experts will be on-hand to help identify raptors and other birds migrating through the area. Iowa Raptor Project staff will present “Iowa Birds of Prey” live bird programs at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Local ornithologist Jon Stravers will present a program on 40 years of raptor migration research along the Upper Mississippi River in Clayton County at 2 p.m. Stravers also plans to bring raptors captured at the banding station to the Wetlands Centre for release at 11 a.m. and during his 2 p.m. program (weather permitting).

Hands-on educational activities will be provided by Driftless Area Wetlands Centre staff, and there will also be face painting. Snacks will be provided by the Friends of the Marquette Driftless Area. 

Concert funds raised will benefit Driftless Area Bird Conservation and Raptor Resource Project organizations. Silent auction items are being accepted. 

A schedule of events will be available at the Wetlands Centre or at www.driftlessareawetlandcentre.com.

Sponsors for this year’s HawkWatch event include Upper Iowa Audubon Society, Friends of the Marquette Driftless Area, Casino Queen Marquette, Cabela’s and the city of Marquette. Please contact the Driftless Area Wetlands Centre at (563) 873-3537 with any questions.

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