The Niagara Peninsula Hawkwatch (NPH) is thrilled to announce the commencement of its 50th annual spring hawk migration monitoring. This year's milestone is being celebrated with a free Open House event on Good Friday, March 29, 2024, at Ball's Conservation Area, Lincoln. This engaging event is set to commemorate half a century of dedication to raptor conservation and public education. There are no reservations required. Walk-ins are welcomed. 

Location: Ball's Falls Conservation Area. 3292 6th Ave, Vineland ON L0R2C0 

Date: Good Friday, March 29, 2024

Time: 10 AM - 3 PM

Since March 1, NPH members have been conducting daily observations at the Beamer Memorial Conservation Area, meticulously recording sightings of hawks, eagles, falcons, and vultures. This annual count, running until May 15, offers a fascinating glimpse into the migratory patterns of these majestic birds, with Lincoln and West Lincoln historically boasting an average sighting of over 14,000 raptors each spring.

The Open House event at Ball's Falls Conservation Area, chosen for its premier viewing location along the escarpment and accessible features, promises an educational and engaging experience for all ages. Catherine Manschot, NPH Education Coordinator, James Cowan of the Canadian Raptor Conservancy, and Sandy Darling, NPH Counter Coordinator, will lead presentations. The CRC will lead a live Bird of Prey Show, and food truck La Casetta will be selling food and beverages. Local tour operator and children’s programmer Cala Carlson will provide special programming throughout the day. Admission to Ball’s Falls Conservation Area will be free for the day, thanks to the support of the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA).

Keith Dieroff, President of NPH, highlights the organization's ongoing commitment to raptor conservation, noting the significance of monitoring migration trends as indicators of ecosystem health. "Over the past five decades, our continuous monitoring has not only contributed to the scientific understanding of raptor populations but has also played a crucial role in the recovery of several species. Over the past five decades, we have monitored the population and migration trends of sixteen different species of raptors. We have witnessed the expansion of Turkey Vultures into southern Ontario, the return of Bald Eagles and Ospreys, as well as the decline of many raptor species, like Red-tailed Hawk, Sharp-shinned Hawk, American Kestrel and others. As we celebrate our 50th anniversary, we invite the community to join us in fostering a deeper connection with nature and advocating for the preservation of these vital species."

Dr. Alicia Powell, Manager of Conservation Areas & Services at NPCA, expressed enthusiasm for supporting the NPH and the educational impact of the Open House. "This year, as we host the event at Ball’s Falls, we're excited to welcome more members of our community to this accessible and educational celebration. It's a wonderful opportunity for guests to engage with nature, learn about the importance of raptors, and witness the beauty of their migration."

The NPH's 50th anniversary and the return of the Open House since the pandemic mark a significant milestone in the organization's history. The NPH and NPCA warmly invite the public to participate in this free event, promising a day of learning, engagement, and celebration of the natural world. All are invited to Beamer Memorial Conservation Area after the event.

Event Schedule: 

  • 10:00am  Open House begins
  • Visit the booths of various local nature organizations
  • 10:15am  Introduction to Hawk Identification, Hosted by Catherine Manschot from Niagara Peninsula Hawkwatch Education Coordinator
  • 11:00am Children’s Program, Hosted by Carla Carlson, Niagara Nature Tours
  • 12:00pm Live Bird Demonstration, Hosted by James Cowan. Canadian Raptor Conservancy
  • 1:15pm Practice Your Hawk ID Skills- This workshop will be located at the north of Ball’s Falls CA Parking Lot, Hosted by Sandy Darling, Niagara Peninsula Hawkwatch Counter Coordinator
  • 2:00 pm Live Bird Demonstration, Hosted by James Cowan, Canadian Raptor Conservancy
  • 2:30pm Children’s Program, Hosted by Carla Carlson, Niagara Nature Tours
  • 3:00pm Open House concludes

All are welcomed to continue the viewing event at Beamer Memorial Conservation Area. 


About the Niagara Peninsula Hawkwatch: Founded in 1975, the Niagara Peninsula Hawkwatch is a non-profit organization dedicated to the study, monitoring, and conservation of birds of prey in the Niagara Peninsula. Through annual migration counts, educational programs, and community engagement, NPH strives to increase public awareness and appreciation of raptor conservation.

About NPCA:

The Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority is a community-based natural resource management agency that works to conserve, enhance and sustain healthy watersheds. With more than 65 years of experience, NPCA offers watershed programs and services that focus on flood and hazard management, source water protection, species protection, ecosystem restoration, community stewardship and land management.

The NPCA manages 41 Conservation Areas within the Niagara Peninsula watershed held in public trust for recreation, heritage preservation, conservation and education. These natural and shared greenspaces marry nature, culture and adventure to create limitless opportunities for discovery. To learn more, please visit: www.npca.ca.

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Questions related to the above release should be directed to:
Gillian Mackey, Communications and Marketing Specialist