Every spring, thousands of migrating raptors are funneled through a passage between the Mat-Su Valley's great mountain ranges in the Glacier View area. Fields of lingering snow reflect that brilliant northern sunlight upward, casting a glow on the passing birds of prey that fill the skies from March well into May! It's a phenomenon that leaves everyone speechless when they see it.

This awesome spectacle can be easily viewed from the roadside just north of Sheep Mountain Lodge on the Glenn Highway. There are some convenient pull-off areas around mile 120 where the bottle neck between mountain ranges is most pronounced. Step out of your car for a brief rest there and you'll see flights of Golden Eagles, Rough-legged Hawks, Red-tailed Hawks, American Goshawks, Peregrine Falcons, Gyrfalcons, Merlins, Sharp-shinned Hawks and more!

This stretch of highway is the location of the annual Gunsight Mountain Hawkwatch. Named for a prominent nearby summit, this is the northernmost official Hawkwatch International count site in the entire world. Famous for its record high counts of Harlan's Red-tailed Hawks, Gunsight Mountain attracts the attention of bird aficionados and wildlife enthusiasts alike.

Local Audubon groups and bird clubs schedule an annual group visit to the Hawkwatch counting site around mid April. If you can visit Gunsight Mountain with these groups you'll have access to a wealth of knowledge about all the beautiful creatures circling overhead. Some birders will happily give you a peek through their high-powered scopes for a detailed view of these majestic predators. Plan to attend. You won't regret it.

Raptors are regularly seen everywhere throughout the Mat-Su Valley, even after the big spring migration. So, no matter when you visit, bring those binoculars with you and keep an eye on the sky!