Department of Environmental Conservation

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Derby Hill Bird Observatory

Mexico, Oswego County

eagle and people by side of lake

watchable wildlife logo

Derby Hill, on the southeastern corner of Lake Ontario, is a premier hawk-watching site. On average, 40,000 raptors comprising 15 species are counted here each spring as they migrate northward, making this one of the best spring hawk-watching sites in North America. Though raptors are the main attraction, impressive numbers of migrating waterfowl and other birds can also be seen here.

Wildlife to Watch

  • Rough-legged, broad-winged and red-tailed hawks
  • Golden eagles
  • Bald eagles
  • Canada and snow geese
  • Red-winged blackbirds
  • Orioles
  • Kittiwakes, gulls, loons, terns and jaegers

Where to Watch

  • Trails
  • Boardwalk
  • Overlooks
  • Lakeshore
  • Marsh

Recreational Opportunities

  • Birdwatching
  • Visitors center


90 acres

Closest Town



Go to Google Maps, and enter your address for step-by-step directions to Derby Hill Bird Sanctuary. (This link will open a page outside the DEC website. Hold the "Shift" key down, and click on the link to open it in a new window.)

Contact Information

Address: 36 Grand View Ave., Mexico, NY 13114

Website: Derby Hill Bird Observatory (This link leaves DEC's website)

Photo credits: DEC