Into the Field: Borrego Springs Swainson’s Hawk Watch

Past Event

The Swainson’s Hawk Migration through Borrego Springs is a spectacle not to be missed. These 19-inch tall hawks with a wingspan of over four feet, travel in flocks in the spring. The town of Borrego Springs in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park (the largest state park in California) is a stopping point on their journey. Hawks spend the night in the area and, in the morning, lift off to go further north. Local hawk watchers and counters are familiar with their haunts.

On Saturday, March 16, participants will meet in the overflow parking lot of Sunnylands Center & Gardens at 7:30 a.m. The caravan will leave Sunnylands for the hour-and-a-half drive to Borrego Springs, going along the west side of the Salton Sea and through some of the most fascinating geology in the area. Once in town, the group will touch base with the locals and go to the spot where the hawks are predicted to lift off. As with any birdwatching activity, there is no guarantee what will happen, but historically this week has seen the largest concentrations of hawks. There could be several hundred to over one thousand. Usually, all of the hawks that spent the night have lifted off and leave the area by about 11:00 a.m. Afterwards the group may enjoy lunch in town or head back to Sunnylands.

Closed-toe shoes, hat, sunscreen, and water are essential. Binoculars, camera, snacks are optional.

Into the Field is a two-part event with a pre-trip orientation on March 15. The orientation includes a curator-guided walk through the current exhibition, and a copy of the exhibition catalog for each participant. Participants may also take the opportunity to make carpool arrangements for the following morning.

A waiver is required for all off-site trips and may be found here: offsite birding waiver. The waiver will be collected during the March 15 orientation.

Fee: $50 per participant.
Tickets may be purchased HERE.
For information call 760.202.2234.