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Red-tailed Hawk and Mt. Baker

Hawk Watching In Western Washington Classes 2022

The weather is turning toward Fall and I am eagerly awaiting the arrival of our winter migrants on the Samish and Skagit Flats! Our five-week class will begin on Tuesday, January 11, 2022.


It looks like once again our classes for 2022 will be presented virtually. Please read on for details. Thank you!

Join Sue Cottrell for a five-session class, “Hawk Watching in Western Washington”. 

This class will teach you about the 15 species of diurnal raptors that can be found in western WA, emphasizing field identification and the particularly fascinating element of winter behavior. It will also cover raptor terminology, migration, the daily and annual cycle, birding ethics, equipment and birding guides. Instructor Sue Cottrell has studied raptors and guided outdoor trips for over 30 years, and has a vast knowledge of local raptor populations.

The five sessions will be presented via Zoom beginning at 7 pm and run approximately 1 1/2- 2 hours, starting on Tuesday January 11, 2022. Classes will be recorded and available for viewing until 2 weeks after the last class.

Historically, day-long field trips on the Samish and Skagit Flats have been offered in conjunction with classroom sessions. They are a great opportunity for students to practice identifying raptors in the field, guided by Sue’s expertise and assistance. These areas are nationally recognized for harboring hundreds of wintering birds of prey. Nevertheless, Covid restrictions may either prevent us from conducting field trips this year, or offering field trips conducted in ways different from those held in the past.  Everyone’s safety is our most important consideration.

The 5-week Zoom session fee is $100 per person. If we are able to offer the all day field trip the fee of $50 per person will be collected at a later date.

To complete your registration, send check, along with email address and phone number to Raptor Studies NW, P.O. Box 85, Bow, WA 98232. Contact Sue at with any questions.

From Bud Anderson of the Falcon Research Group September 2019 –

“After 36 years, it is time for me to move on from teaching the Hawkwatching in Western Washington course that I have enjoyed so much. 

Thank you to everyone for supporting it over these many years.

However, I recognize that there is obviously still a continuing need for a hawk ID class out there. 

Therefore, I have been working with my friend and colleague, Sue Cottrell, over the last few years to pass the torch on to her.

As many of you know, Sue is an excellent hawkwatcher and is intimately acquainted with the Skagit Flats. She is more than qualified to helm the class in future years.

I encourage you all to support, learn and enjoy hawks with her.

Good hawkwatching and thank you all,