The Hitchcock Nature Center annually holds two hawkwatch-related festivals. One in early October, which is held in conjunction with a 5k run at the nature center, and one in November (check the calendar for dates). Both festivals feature hawkwatching from the tower and Lodge Deck and live Birds of Prey demonstrations by Nebraska Raptor Recovery. In 2005, the October festival was attended by over 100 visitors, who witnessed an impressive raptor flight of 579 hawks and vultures including over 100 Turkey Vultures and over 400 Swainson’s Hawks (with several large kettles seen) as well eight other raptor species including 2 Peregrine Falcons and a Merlin.
The November Eagle Festival in 2005 was unfortunately on a day that was characterized by gusty southerly winds of up to 45 mph. Only 2 southbound eagles were counted, though the day did feature a few hawks and large numbers of waterfowl for the approximately 60 visitors in attendance.