We compared migrating behavior of Broad-winged Hawks (Buteo platypterus) at two sites along their migration corridor: Hawk Mountain Sanctuary in eastern Pennsylvania and the Kéköldi Indigenous Reserve in Limón, Costa Rica. We counted the number of times focal birds intermittently flapped their wings and recorded the general flight type (straight-line soaring and gliding on flexed wings versus circle-soaring on fully extended wings). We used a logistic model to evaluate which conditions were good for soaring by calculating the probability of occurrence or absence of wing flaps. Considering that even intermittent flapping is energetically more expensive than pure soaring and gliding flight, we restricted a second analysis to birds that flapped during observations, and used the number of flaps to evaluate factors influencing the cost of migration. Both the occurrence and extent of flapping were greater in Pennsylvania than in Costa Rica, and during periods of straight-line soaring and gliding flight compared with circle-soaring. At both sites, flapping was more likely during rainy weather and early and late in the day compared with the middle of the day. Birds in Costa Rica flew in larger flocks than those in Pennsylvania, and birds flying in large flocks flapped less than those flying alone or in smaller flocks. In Pennsylvania, but not in Costa Rica, the number of flaps was higher when skies were overcast than when skies were clear or partly cloudy. In Costa Rica, but not in Pennsylvania, flapping decreased as temperature increased. Our results indicate that birds migrating in large flocks do so more efficiently than those flying alone and in smaller flocks, and that overall, soaring conditions are better in Costa Rica than in Pennsylvania. We discuss how differences in instantaneous migration costs at the two sites may shift the species' migration strategy from one of time minimization in Pennsylvania to one of energy minimization in Costa Rica.