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Derby Hill Bird Observatory - BirdForum Opus

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One of the premier spring hawk watching sites in the east, located on the southeast corner of Lake Ontario, near Oswego, New York. Also one of the best places to see Jaegers in the region.


Notable Species

Raptors traveling past Derby Hill between March and May include Osprey, Bald Eagle, Northern Harrier, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Cooper's Hawk, Northern Goshawk, Red-shouldered Hawk, Broad-winged Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, Golden Eagle, American Kestrel, Merlin, and Peregrine Falcon. Black Vulture is now annual and recorded several times a season. Sandhill Crane are seen regularly during this season as well.

All of the regularly occuring Thrushes, Warblers, Vireos and Sparrows can be found here in the spring with the occasional rarity.

In the Laridae family Parasitic Jaeger, Pomarine Jaeger, Iceland Gull, Little Gull, Black-legged Kittiwake are annual at the lakewatch as well as most species of waterfowl.


Rarities in the Raptor family include Mississippi Kite, Swallow-tailed Kite, White-tailed Kite, Gyrfalcon, Swainson's Hawk, and White-tailed Eagle (which although not accepted by the records committee it was accepted by Clark and Wheeler).

In the wader category Little Blue Heron, Tricolored Heron and Glossy Ibis have been seen.

Waterfowl have included King Eider and Harlequin Duck.

Long-tailed Jaeger, Black-headed Gull, Laughing Gull, Sabine's Gull and Lesser Black-backed Gull have been recorded at the lakewatch as well as all three species of Phalarope.

Passerine Rarities include: Sedge Wren, Yellow-throated Warbler, Swainson's Warbler, Kentucky Warbler, Harris's Sparrow.

Other rarities include Manx Shearwater, Magnificent Frigatebird, American White Pelican, Northern Gannet, Western Grebe, Loggerhead Shrike, and Razorbill.


Birds you can see here include:

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Other Wildlife

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Site Information

History and Use

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Areas of Interest

Two main lookouts. South Lookout is in a field about 1/2 mile from the lake. Usually the hawkwatch is switched to here later in the day when the wind shifts. North Lookout, the main viewing point, is a high bluff right on the lake.

Access and Facilities

External Links