Spend a weekend at a hawk watch this fall

8/6/2013 | 0

Hawkwatch-spread-Aug-13To judge by the mail we’ve received since our August 2013 issue hit newsstands, a highlight was Meg Scherch Peterson’s account of a weekend she spent last September at a hawk watch operated by HawkWatch International.

The site was in the Manzano Mountains, about an hour’s drive southeast of Albuquerque in central New Mexico, where Meg was a participant in HWI’s inaugural Frontline Science program.

Read Meg’s article.

According to HWI’s official year-end summary (pdf), the Manzanos site was a busy place that fall. Observers counted 4,248 passing migrant birds of prey, and they caught and banded 602. Meg not only got the thrill of a lifetime releasing a female juvenile Cooper’s Hawk but also spent time with the counters at their mountain-top observation post.

The view, she writes, was spectacular:

As I near the ridge, I begin to feel an intense updraft at my back. Once on top, I turn full into it, and the wind and the expansiveness of the view take my breath away. I can see a hundred miles in every direction: toward the Great Plains on my right, the Basin and Range on my left, and peaks and mountain ranges in between. I’ve got the whole world in my hand, as the song goes. Wow.

Sounds wonderful, right? Well, you could have the whole world (and perhaps a just-banded Cooper’s Hawk) in your hand this fall, too. Here’s how:

HWI welcomes birdwatchers at its migration-research site in the Goshute Mountains of northeastern Nevada as well as the Manzano Mountains.

Each weekend-long Frontline Science session kicks off on a Friday and ends the following Sunday, but participants are welcome to stay overnight and hike down Monday morning. A tax-deductible donation of $425 per person is requested. Food, water, and materials are provided.

Frontline Science 2013 dates:

September 6-8
September 13-15
September 20-22
September 27-29
October 4-6
October 11-13

Space is limited. To inquire about openings, contact HWI Education and Outreach Director Nikki Wayment at [email protected] or (801) 484-6808 ext. 107.

Read Meg Peterson’s article “The Whole World in My Hand.”