Hawk Watch

DOS supports both the Cape Henlopen Hawk watch and the Ashland Hawk Watches. Photo shows the Cape Henlopen Hawk Watch; observers (left to right) are Martin, Melony, Seth, Sue, Sally, and Lynn.
The DOS oversees and administers both hawk watches, in partnership with the Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife, Delaware Nature Society, and the Delaware Division of Parks and Recreation.   The funding for the hawk watches is provided through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's State Wildlife Grant Program, and the funding comes through the efforts of Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife.
Volunteer counters are a vital part of each hawk watch sight, necessary for both spotting and counting assistance.  In addition, volunteer hours are a match for the funding we are receiving, so birders willing to be trained and somewhat regular in their observations are very helpful.

See our Hawk Watch Photo Gallery


(coastal Mid-Atlantic spring migration route preferred by Merlins and other Falcons)
  • The Hawk Watch is situated atop the ocean bunker, just behind the primary beach dune.  This location provides an excellent view of falcons that often head north low between the primary and secondary dunes. The spring watch is an all volunteer research station posting daily sighting data on Hawkcount.org.
The Cape Henlopen Hawk watch station is located adjacent to the main picnic pavilion.  After entering the park, please follow signs to the Beach bathhouse. You can park at the northwest end of the large beach bathhouse parking lot near the two handicapped parking spots. A short path will lead you to the picnic pavilion parking lot, with the WW II bunker to your right (toward the ocean). A set of steps lead up the side of the bunker to the hawk watch station.
For more information about the hawk watch program, please contact Anthony Gonzon at 302-735-8673. If you would like to volunteer, please contact Joe Sebastiani, Ashland Hawk Watch, at 302-239-2334, ext. 115, or Sue Gruver, Cape Henlopen Hawk Watch, at 302-645-6390.
Delaware is fortunate to have the two hawk watches in very different geographic locations, the coast and Piedmont, and the raptors you find may be very different at each on a daily basis.   We look forward to seeing you at one or both of the hawk watches this season.  
Cape Henlopen Hawk Watch (at Cape Henlopen State Park behind the picnic pavilion)

Ashland Nature Center Hawk Watch