Birding Hotspots for Fall Migration

Visit these birding hotspots to view the best fall migration in the US.

Each fall, millions of birds make their way from their breeding areas in the north to their wintering grounds farther south. Migration can be quite a spectacle to see and I encourage anyone interested in birding to visit one of these birding hotspots this fall.

Birding Hotspots for Fall MigrationRob Ripma
Rob Ripma Each fall, warblers, like this Black-throated Green, stop by birding hotspots in the US to fuel up for their journeys.

1. Cape May, NJ

Cape May is one of the most famous birding hotspots in the United States. It can be a great place to go birding at any time of year but the fall is really spectacular. From hawks to warblers to waterfowl, Cape May has it all!

2. Hawk Ridge, MN

Although this might seem like an odd recommendation, the number of migrants that passes by this ridge is nothing short of incredible. Take a look at this list on eBird from September 1, 2015!

3. Point Pelee, Ontario, Canada

Although Point Pelee is known as a spring birding hotspot, it’s also a wonderful place to be in the fall. Not nearly as many birders visit this location in the fall but there are just as many birds as during the spring.

4. Bosque del Apache NWR, MN

Bosque del Apache is well-known for the huge numbers of waterfowl and cranes that arrive in early November. Consider attending the Festival of the Cranes that is held each year!

Birding Hotspots for Fall MigrationRob Ripma
Rob Ripma Gigantic flocks of Snow Geese are quite a sight to see.

5. Sky Islands, AZ

Birding in Southeast Arizona is always fun and rewarding but the Sky Islands make this due to the number of hummingbirds that can be seen here during the fall. If you spend enough time and visit enough hummingbird feeders, you could find up to 15 species!

Bonus for the Adventurous: Monterey Pelagics, CA

If you’re up for an adventure this fall, hop on one of the many pelagic trips that leave from Monterey. These trips take you out into the Pacific Ocean in search of seabirds that pass through this area by the thousands. Learn more here.

Rob Ripma
Rob Ripma, a lifelong Indiana resident, has traveled and birded extensively throughout the Americas.