Hawk Mountain Sanctuary Association

Leaders in global raptor conservation

aka Hawk Mountain Sanctuary   |   Kempton, PA   |  www.hawkmountain.org


Founded in 1934 to stop the shooting of migrating hawks along its ridgetop, the Hawk Mountain mission is to conserve birds of prey worldwide by providing leadership in raptor conservation science and education, and by maintaining Hawk Mountain Sanctuary as a model observation, research and education facility. This mission is accomplished through integrated programs in scientific research, conservation education, monitoring, public visitation, Sanctuary stewardship, and professional conservation training.

Ruling year info



Sean Grace

Main address

1700 Hawk Mountain Rd

Kempton, PA 19529 USA

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NTEE code info

Bird Sanctuary/Preserve (D32)

Natural Resource Conservation and Protection (C30)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Raptors or birds of prey (hawks, eagles and falcons) are winged predators that sit at top of food chains. They also can travel long distances, particularly on their biannual migrations. Their role as predators allows them to serve as bioindicators of a healthy ecosystem and the impressive journeys enable them to connect cultures and people across political and geographic boundaries. It also means that raptors face myriad threats, particularly during migration. And while raptors are a critically important part of the ecosystem, little is known about their basic biology and health. Further, migration offers a chance for people of all ages and backgrounds to enjoy a great spectacle of nature, and to use this phenomena to monitor populations, conduct education programs, build local pride, and recreate outdoors. Hawk Mountain works with people, local to global, to replicate the Hawk Mountain model and conserve birds of prey in other areas of the world to conserve birds of prey globally

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Raptor Conservation Science

The Conservation Science Program at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary aims to increase understanding of raptor migration, including fostering the work of other scientists and scholars in the study of birds of prey and Appalachian ecology at its biological field station, the Acopian Center of Conservation Learning, which serves as a headquarters for global raptor conservation and information sharing and provides residence buildings for local-to-international three-month trainees and shorter stays for visiting scientists, colleagues, post-docs, and graduate students. Findings from scientific research are published in peer-reviewed journals, used in public education programs, incorporated into social media and print messaging, and help to guide conservation of raptors.

Hawk Mountain research is local to global and makes use of conservation colleagues and partnerships with organizations, education centers, and government/non-government agencies to increase efficiency and remain cost-effective.

Population(s) Served

The Raptor Conservation Education Program provides a platform of 18 program types to inspire and engage people of all ages and backgrounds to appreciate raptors, raptor conservation, and the biology of migration. Wildlife interpretation, public and private programs, a summer day camp series, Counselor-in-Training positions, a growing Education Internship program, virtual programs, and workshops for adult learners are conducted on-site, off-site, and via the Internet. In addition, a variety of learning tools, activities, and curricula are created to export information about raptors where raptors need help the most, and make use of graduates of the Hawk Mountain International Traineeship and its vast network of partners. The program also seeks to empower professional educators to use the Hawk Mountain model in conservation education, and look to the Sanctuary's professional educators to provide leadership and training to further raptor education across the world.

An important aspect to the Hawk Mountain Raptor Conservation Education Program is to train up-and-coming educators through a residential, 3-month-long education traineeship, to provide training for professional educators by facilitating for-credit workshops, to serve as a center for information exchange and advanced learning, and also to participate in regional, national, and international meetings or symposiums.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Where we work

Affiliations & memberships

Independent Charities of America 2017

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Total number of paid admissions

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served


Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success


Context Notes

Includes paid admissions, members, and group, and are actual visits that are counted per day. Number varies by weather.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

To conserve raptors worldwide and provide leadership in raptor conservation science and education.

Major goals include to learn more about raptors and their basic needs, which in turn can help to guide their conservation.

To train young and enthusiastic raptor biologists, especially in areas where raptors are most at risk.

To use Hawk Mountain as a think-tank where people come together for information exchange on raptors at risk, common goals and needs, possible conservation collaborations, and more, but all to further the mission and advance raptor conservation.

To use raptors as a unique and effective focus for learning by overseeing a robust education program locally, but also by creating exportable learning tools and curricula globally.

To use the phenomena of raptor migration as a cost-effective tool to monitor populations and build public appreciation.

Maintain Hawk Mountain Sanctuary as an eco-tourist site open to the public year round that supports revenue and sparks interest in raptors and in general conservation issues.

Conduct scientific research on raptor migration ecology and biology, and to use research projects to inform the public and guide education, as well as teaching tool for up-and-coming biologists.

Present public education programs that are science-based and excited and interest people of all ages in the Hawk Mountain mission.

Hawk Mountain has a highly qualified professional staff of scientists, educators, forest stewards, and other professionals who work together to integrate scientific research on raptors with public education programs and messaging to increase awareness and build interest in raptors. As the first refuge for birds of prey, Hawk Mountain has a long-standing history of success, is a model for all other migration watchsites, and has maintained its reputation as a conservation leader for nearly 90 years.

Hawk Mountain also has the infrastructure to support its work, offering a fully-equipped Visitor Center and trail system, including ADA trail, new and accessible amphitheater, and ample public parking, as well as private and accessible Education Building and a research center with two residence buildings that serve as a field station and training site.

Hawk Mountain has celebrated significant success, having pioneered efforts that led to the protection of all North American migratory raptors under the federal migratory bird treaty act. We also have expanded our training program dramatically in the last decade, added a new education training program, and increased our ability to use technology in both scientific research and education. For instance, Hawk Mountain launched distance education programs and quickly moved to satellite telemetry tracking to learn more than ever before about individual birds throughout all phases of its lifecycles. Looking ahead, Hawk Mountain hopes to increase visitation year-round to better support the mission, to endow its director of education, to ensure stability and strength in its education program, and to emerge as a leader in raptor conservation education globally. We also hope to endow a graduate student program, which furthers the careers of our very brightest trainees while furthering our own work, and to boost online communications to better share these stories with anyone who has an Internet connection.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    Visitors to Hawk Mountain Sanctuary Participants in public education programs Peer raptor biologists and other scientists studying raptors Trainees who have completed the Conservation Science Training Program

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Suggestion box/email,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    Feedback from a visually impaired visitor resulted in Hawk Mountain working with a local college to create Braillled binders of information that can be used while walking through its Native Plant Garden. Feedback about difficulty reaching even the closest overlook resulting in raising funds to construct and open the Accessible Silhouette Trail.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff, Our board, Our funders,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    Requesting feedback is always well received at Hawk Mountain and we want to hear how participants benefited from a program or their advice on ways to improve. Most feedback is informal, by asking as people leave, but every participant does have the ability to easily share feedback with a short questionnaire following a program. Online event and program registration also allows us the ability to now email requests for feedback, which is always well received.

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don’t have the right technology to collect and aggregate feedback efficiently,


Hawk Mountain Sanctuary Association

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


Connect with nonprofit leaders


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


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Hawk Mountain Sanctuary Association

Board of directors
as of 09/29/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Esq Jeff Weil

Board co-chair

Tom Kerr

Wendy McLean, Esq

Senior Partner, Lentz, Cantor, & Massey

Peter Bennett

CEO, Liberty Partners

Deborah Edge, M.D.

General Practitioner (retired)

Stephen Edge, M.D.


Tom Kerr

Wildlands Conservancy (retired)

Ferdinand Thun

Emeritus, Lehigh University (retired)

Dave Bonenberger


Christina Clayton

Xerox (retired)

Ken Hawkinson, Ph.D.

Kutztown University

Soloman Lausch, Ph.D.

Berks Business Education

Dan Rubenstein, Ph.D.

Professor of Zoology

Amy Ruszala

Scientist, FirstEnergy Corp

Scott Weidensaul

Author and Naturalist

Jeffrey Weil, Esq

Cozen O'Conner

Jeff Goldenberg

Goldenberg Marketing

Peter Fontaine, Esq

Cozen O'Conner

Diane Husic, Ph.D.

Moravian College

Sara Nicholas

Nature Conservancy PA

Holly Merker

Educator, Author, Lecturer

Ernesto Ruelas Inzunza, Ph.D.

Ornithologist and Professor, University of Veracruz, MX

Gillian Bowser

Research Scientist and Professor, University of Colorado

Minturn Wright, III


Ed Baldridge

Baldrige Asset Management LLC

Ana Maria Castaño

Parque de la Conservación

Rick Holt

R.W.Holt Photography

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 9/29/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data


No data

Sexual orientation

No data


No data