Clemson University

Emeritus College Hawk Migration Watch

September 21 (Monday) 10:00am – 12:00pm, Hawk Migration Viewing at Sassafras Mountain with Vince Jackson: Each fall 1000s of broad-winged hawks and an assortment of bald eagles, ospreys, falcons and accipiters funnel down the Appalachian Mountain range to wintering grounds in Mexico and South America. This migration may be easily viewed as the birds form swirling masses dipping low over the mountain ridges. We are fortunate to have a prime viewing location for this annual avian show in extreme north Pickens County---Sassafras Mountain. Sassafras, the highest elevation point in the state at 3,563 ft, is located a little over an hour’s drive from the Clemson area. A newly constructed observation platform offers a 360- degree view of the SC and NC mountains. Driving to near the top on a paved road makes this an easy trip, however the last 100 yards to the platform on a paved walkway is a steep climb and is not handicap accessible currently. Anyone who can navigate the steps at the Clemson stadium can safely participate in this field trip.

You will need a good pair of binoculars, water, snacks and a field guide with hawk pictures. There are restroom facilities available. It can be cool at the top early in the mornings, so dress in layers. The leader, Vince Jackson, is an experienced birder and the former president of the Atlanta Audubon society. You can expect to see other migrants; warblers, bobolinks and flycatchers. This location, close to the Jocassee Gorges, is also one of the best areas to see ravens in SC. Plan to meet at the top platform at 10:00 am on Monday, September 21. The trip is geared to the novice birder and instruction and identification will be provided. For directions to Sassafras Mountain, click HERE. An RSVP is required for this event. Please contact or 864-656-3990 to RSVP.


Monday, September 21, 2020 at 10:00am to 12:00pm

Sassafras Mountain Pickens County, SC

Event Type

Special Events


College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences, Animal and Veterinary Sciences, Emeritus College, Forestry and Environmental Conservation, Plant and Environmental Sciences

Target Audience

Students, Faculty, Staff, Undergraduate, Graduate



No cost

Contact Name:

Nicci Hanewald

Contact Phone:


Contact Email:


Transportation not provided


Recent Activity

Deborah Willoughby

Deborah Willoughby left a positive review 9/20/2020

It was great- not a lot of hawks, but such a beautiful setting. We plan to go back very soon.