The above slide is from one of my visits to Hawk Mountain. The Blue Mountain Ridge of the Appalachian Mountains in which the Sanctuary is located can be seen from my porch.
Hawk Mountain: Celebrating 75 Years of Raptor Conservation, 1934-2009. Located in east-central Pennsylvania, Hawk Mountain is the world's first refuge for birds of prey. Open year-round, visitors enjoy scenic vistas, 8-miles of ridge and valley trails, a Visitor Center, Bookstore, and native plant garden, and each autumn, the chance to observe large numbers of hawks, eagle and falcons as they migrate past our lookouts. Operating as a non-profit eco-tourism site, your trail fee or membership dues directly support scientific research, public education and Sanctuary maintenance.
|History of Hawk Mountain Sanctuary|
|As the world's first refuge for birds of prey, Hawk Mountain Sanctuary has a dramatic and telling history that started during the Great Depression with an amateur ornithologist by the name of Richard Pough. In 1929, Pennsylvania's Game Commission placed a $5 price tag on the goshawk's head—a grand sum in Depression years. Two years later, while Pough was a recent college graduate living in Philadelphia, he became one of a growing number of conservationists opposed to the widespread movement to eradicate wildlife predators, including predatory birds.|
Pough heard of the place locals called "Hawk Mountain" and decided to visit. There he saw gunners stationed, shooting hundreds of passing hawks for sport. He returned to gather the carcasses lying on the forest floor and take photographs. Pough unsuccessfully tried to stop the shooting himself, but his photographs were eventually seen by a national conservation activist-New Yorker Rosalie Edge.
In 1934, Mrs. Edge came to Hawk Mountain and leased 1,400 acres. She installed a warden on the property, a New England bird enthusiast named Maurice Broun, and Maurice's wife and bird conservation partner, Irma Broun. The shooting stopped immediately and the next year, Mrs. Edge opened the Sanctuary to the public as a place to see the beautiful but persecuted birds of prey. She purchased and deeded the 1,400 acres to Hawk Mountain Sanctuary Association, incorporated in 1938 as a non-profit organization in Pennsylvania.