LogoHoliday Beach Migration Observatory (HBMO) is a Registered Charitable volunteer organization dedicated to the study and monitoring of migratory birds.  Activities focus on migration of raptors (diurnal birds of prey), passerines (songbirds) and other species passing through southwestern Ontario in the vicinity of Holiday Beach Conservation Area.  Learn more!

Canadian Hawk Counter Contract Announced

Holiday Beach Migration Observatory (HBMO) is seeking an experienced hawk migration counter for the Fall Count Season (September 1-Novermber 30) conducted at Holiday Beach Conservation Area near Amherstburg, Ontario. The count is conducted atop a 40-foot wooden tower that affords a good view of the north shore of Lake Erie, the eastern horizon where the hawks are arriving, the northern and southern horizons where birds pass westward during migration. The site has hourly data beginning in 1974 to the present. National Audubon has noted this raptor count site is rated the third best in North America and first in Canada for viewing migrants. HBMO is proud of the programs it offers to the public and has had excellent full-time counters for several years. Many of them have continued to pursue graduate degrees in ornithology and obtain employment in rewarding careers.

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HMANA Conference – Registration now Open!

We are excited to invite you to HMANA’s conference this fall in Detroit, MI. Registration is now open! We hope you will join us.

Hawk Migration Association of North America Conference, Soaring Toward the Future: New Challenges in Raptor Migration – October 12-14, 2018, Detroit Metro Airport Marriott, MI

Register before August 31 to take advantage of early-bird rates!

Book your hotel room at the conference venue by September 20 to take advantage of discounted conference rates!

A stellar lineup of speakers and presenters includes two keynote presenters:

Kate Davis opens the conference with her keynote presentation on the 1700 live-bird programs she’s held over 30 years with Raptors of the Rockies (http://www.raptorsoftherockies.org/

Todd Katzner is the Supervisory Research Wildlife Biologist with the Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center in Boise, ID, and will present his Golden Eagle research during our Saturday night banquet.

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HBMO Raptor Weekend – September 23-24

NEW THIS YEAR!  Join us for the HBMO Raptor Weekend, September 23-24 at Holiday Beach Conservation Area.  Witness the wonder of Raptor migration up close! The event runs from 9am to 3pm each day.

Download the schedule of events here.

Raptor Weekend Activities:

  • Raptor migration over the tower
  • Bird ID on the tower
  • Raptor adoptions
  • Songbird and hummingbird banding demonstrations and bird adoptions
  • Nature walks
  • Workshops
  • Food
    & More

2017 Almanacs, Migration Timing & High Counts Documents Now Available

9146771982_86e02130a6_oThe 2017 migration almanacs have now been added to the site. The almanacs include notable HBMO migration counts, migrant species codes, and other useful HBMO information. The migration timing of raptors has been updated and new this year is a summary of the highest daily counts at Holiday Beach.  Download the new documents below.

Eastern Hawk ID Program – New Downloads

DSC_0054Learn to identify hawks in flight during with the Eastern Hawk ID Program. Identifying a hawk in flight is different than characterizing a perched bird. With practice, patience, and long hours of observation the skills of flight identification can be learned.

To learn more and to download the updated presentation in PowerPoint, Keynote, and PDF formats, click here.

41 years and counting

Holiday Beach Migration Observatory hawk count surpasses 3,000,000!

HBMO is headquartered at the Holiday Beach Conservation Area (HBCA)
in the Big Creek Marsh watershed. This internationally recognized
Important Bird Area, IBA ON034, is owned and operated by Essex Region Conservation Authority (ERCA).

The Holiday Beach Migration Observatory (HBMO) is a volunteer, non-profit membership organization formed in 1986 to promote the study and protection of migrating birds.

Through research and education programs and undertaking various projects, HBMO strives to contribute to the greater understanding of migration and conservation of birds and insects and their habitats. Holiday Beach is ranked as the top hawk watching site in Canada by Audubon Magazine, and the third best in all of North America.
Holiday Beach Migration Observatory is proud to announce that the new milestone was reached last Thursday, September 25/2014. This is our 41st year of counting and record keeping from the 1st of September through to the end of November.

Thanks to our volunteers and public support we will continue our work for many more years to come.


HBMO & The Canadian Snow Bunting Network

Snow-Bunting-toesHBMO banders represent a key SW Ontario banding node of the Canadian Snow Bunting Network (CSBN). The CSBN is administered by Dr. Oliver Love’s lab at the University of Windsor and represents a network of over 200 citizen, academic and government scientists working together to determine the health and demographics of wintering Canadian Snow Bunting populations. This Arctic-breeding species is in steep decline in North America and yet nothing is known regarding the reasons behind the population variability. Winter monitoring of this iconic Canadian species currently represents the best way to understand the dynamics of multiple populations and volunteer banders play a key and pivotal role in this conservation effort.

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