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This profile was last updated on 4/14/14  and contains information from public web pages.

Count Interpreter

Phone: (218) ***-****  HQ Phone
Hawk Ridge
P.O. Box 3006
Duluth , Minnesota 55803
United States


Employment History

Board Memberships and Affiliations


  • Natural Resources degree
    Northland College
  • B.S. , Natural Resources and Biology
    Northland College
Web References
Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory, 14 April 2014 [cached]
Erik Bruhnke Count Interpreter
Erik Bruhnke has had a love for birds since he was a child. Graduating from Northland College with a Natural Resources degree back in 2008, Erik has traveled the country doing a wide variety of bird surveys. His field experiences (all bird surveys) have taken him throughout many of the northern states; including North Dakota, South Dakota, the mountains & coastal regions of Oregon, and bushwhacking throughout northern Minnesota & northern Wisconsin.
Erik has taught people about raptor identification and migration throughout the past five fall seasons at Hawk Ridge as the count interpreter, and assists the raptor count during the spring migration. He is returning for his sixth fall season at Hawk Ridge. Erik has taught field ornithology multiple times at Northland College. He is a board member of the Duluth Audubon Society, and has led field trips & spoken at many nationally-recognized birding festivals. His bird photography has won wildlife photo competitions both locally and nationally. Erik's passion to educate others about birds has led him to create his own business of leading birding trips, called Naturally Avian. His biggest aspiration with Naturally Avian is to inspire conservation and environmental awareness through his birding tours, wildlife photography and public presentations. He is a Board Member of the Duluth Audubon Society, where he coordinates weekly birding trips offered to the public and helps spread the word about birds.
Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory, 14 April 2014 [cached]
Erik Bruhnke Count Interpreter
Erik Bruhnke grew up in Waukehsa, WI, and has been enthusiastic about nature and the environment ever since he was a young boy. In 2008 he graduated from Northland College in Ashland, WI with a B.S. in Natural Resources and Biology. Erik teacher-assisted field ornithology twice and ornithology once , then he was privileged to teach his own field ornithology course. He also received the 'Volunteer of the Year Award' from the Ashland Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office for conducting weekly migratory waterfowl surveys throughout his college career.
Erik has worked on various projects, including surveys in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore (Upper Michigan) and the Chequemagon/Nicolet, Superior, and Chippewa National Forests , surveying the shortgrass p rairies for breeding birds and monitoring the populations of Greater Prairie Chickens & Sharp-tailed Grouse in North Dakota. Erik spent this past summer working in the mountains of western Oregon conducting cavity nes t surveys. This fall season is his third year as a count interpreter at Hawk Ridge, and he is fantastically thrilled to teach visitors all about raptors and migration!
Northern Goshawk by Erik ... [cached]
Northern Goshawk by Erik Bruhnke
Red-tailed Hawk overhead at Hawk Ridge by Erik Bruhnke
North-going eagle," shouts Erik ..., 17 Sept 2010 [cached]
North-going eagle," shouts Erik Bruhnke, a staff member of the Hawk Ridge Nature Reserve in Duluth.
On a bluff high above Duluth and Lake Superior, a juvenile bald eagle cruises along the bluff line, just below the sight line of onlookers.
Every fall, volunteers with spotting scopes and birders with binoculars gather to watch the migrating raptors that pass between the bluffs and Lake Superior by the thousands.
"It is very weather-dependent," says Bruhnke, who also leads birding tours. "The best conditions are with west or northwesterly winds with sunny conditions. The winds keep the birds hugging the shoreline."
With the migrating birds of prey funneled along the shore of the vast lake, birdwatchers only have to pick a spot and wait.
"Raptors are not capable of flying long distances over water," Bruhnke says.
And speaking of dangers, Bruhnke saw a lone European starling perching in a tree not far from where the sharp-shinned hawks were released.
Sharp-shinned hawks are members of a group of hawks known as Accipiters, forest hawks that eat other birds.
"It's kind of surprising to see a starling here," Bruhnke said.
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