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Kiptopeke, Virginia

This watch site, managed by the Coastal Virginia Wildlife Observatory and hosted by Kiptopeke State Park, lies at the tip of the Delmarva Peninsula. Birds moving south along the coast are funneled to this point at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. Monitoring and banding of raptors during the fall migration has been conducted there since 1977. It's probably the best place in the world to see merlins, which feed upon the shorebirds and land birds that also accumulate in the area each fall.

To learn more about this site, visit the Coastal Virginia Wildlife Observatory Web site.

Merlin, male

Merlin, male
Kevin T. Karlson

Timing Your Visit

The chart below shows the time periods when each species is most abundant. Please remember that the data is based on past records, and the passage of birds can vary greatly from year to year. Click on the name of a species to learn more about its migratory habits.

Species
September
October
November
December
Osprey                                
Northern Harrier                                
Sharp-shinned Hawk                                
Cooper's Hawk                                
Red-shouldered Hawk                                
Broad-winged Hawk                                
Red-tailed Hawk                                
Bald Eagle                                
American Kestrel                                
Merlin                                
Peregrine Falcon                                
 

 

 

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