Friday, July 15, 2011

Hanging Rock Raptor Observatory

Since 1952, Hanging Rock has been a monitoring point for hawk, eagle, falcon, and osprey migration along the birds' eastern route.
Sunrise at Hanging Rock Photo credit Brian Hirt 
Photo credit Brian Hirt 
During the 2010 season we set record totals for both bald and golden eagles, and sharp-shinned hawks. We tied the harrier record, and came within 2 of both the red-tailed and red-shouldered records.

What is a raptor?
A raptor is a bird of prey. The word raptor comes from the Latin root that means "to seize and carry away", and is assigned to any bird that kills with its feet. Hawks, eagles, falcons, osprey, and owls are all raptors.  
  1. Click here for scenic photos at Hanging Rock Raptor Observatory
  2. Click here for Raptor photos at Hanging Rock Raptor Observatory
  3. Directions to  the Tower ... How to find us. Directions from Gap Mills, Waiteville and Rock Camp, West Virginia and from Paintbank and Blacksburg, Virginia
  4. Links ... Links to sites of interest and bird sites.
  5. Hanging Rock Raptor Observatory on Facebook here
This trip is recommended to you from Pete Eshelman of (visit this website for tons of outdoor recreational ideas in the Roanoke region and surrounding areas!)

PETE SAYS: Dang it's hot out my recommendation this week keeps you in your vehicle for a portion of the time and only hiking for 30-40 minutes (but you are rewarded with an amazing view).
If you've never heard of, or been to, the Hanging Rock Raptor Observatory this is the trip for you. The observatory is located along the WV/VA border and is worth the trip (photos). Here's my recommended itinerary:
  • Take Rt. 311N. from Roanoke (through Catawba and New Castle) to the tiny town of Paint Bank and have lunch at the Swinging Bridge Restaurant
  • After lunch continue on to the Hanging Rock Raptor Observatory (directions)
  • For your return trip, pull out your gazetteer and choose a route home that takes you on some small back roads
BRFAL Chapter of Virginia Master Naturalist wants you to get outside, explore and learn something new today. Get involved in something cool! Learn more about the Virginia Master Naturalist program here. Keep an eye on this blog for updates and announcements for BRFAL CHAPTER classes! 

1 comment:

  1. iv hiked to hanging rock about 3 times it has a great view and watching the birds is so cool in 2011 my boy scout troop is going cant wait


Thanks for your comment and interest! NOW GO OUTSIDE!