Clemson University

Emeritus College Hawk Watch Migration

September 23 (Thursday) 10:00am – 12:00pm, EC Outing: Hawk Migration 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 mountain area. Driving to near the top on a paved road makes this an easy trip, however the last 100 yards to the platform is a steep climb on a paved sidewalk and is not currently handicap accessible. 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, but they may be closed if Covid protocols remain in effect. 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 as well; warblers, bobolinks and flycatchers. This location, close to the Jocassee Gorges, is also one of the best areas in SC to see ravens. Plan to meet at the top platform at 10:00 am on Thursday, September 23. The trip is geared for the novice birder and instruction and identification will be provided. For directions to Sassafras Mountain, click HEREAn RSVP is required for this event. Please 

contact or 864-656-3990 to RSVP

Thursday, September 23 at 10:00am to 12:00pm

Event Type

Special Events


Emeritus College



No cost

Contact Name:

Nicci Hanewald

Contact Phone:


Contact Email:


Please contact Nicci Hanewald for more information about joining the outing.


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