The Hawks Are Here! – April 5, 2016

The Ultimate Hawkwatch at Gunsight Mountain – “The Harlan’s Hawk Capitol of the World”


This year, Hawkwatch International is once again monitoring the Gunsight Mountain Hawkwatch site, but this year it’s bigger than ever.  There will be 2 professional hawk watchers at the site from March 7 until May 15!

Paul and Cecily Fritz dreamed of such a full-scale monitoring effort twenty years ago, and it’s finally happened.

Last year Neil Paprocki manned the site for 2 weeks, and this year it’s the Full Deal.

In the past, Paul and Cecily usually started visiting the site around March 25, and by that date, the Golden Eagle migration was really starting to happen.  But Carol McIntyre (Denali Park biologist) had said that Goldens were on the nest in Denali around March 15.  Those birds take a different route than the Gunsight Goldens, but it would indicate that the birds were moving early in March.

Two weeks ago, the counters had a day with 229 Golden Eagles, and YESTERDAY, the first Rough-legged Hawks came through the sige.  Harlan’s Hawks have been seen for at least a week.
If you’d like to see their counts, they are posting daily results at:

Like last year, we are also asking for volunteers to help the observers.  Watching the whole sky for an entire day is hard work, and the more eyes the better.

If you want to join the counters for a day, please do so.  They’d love the assistance and the company, but be advised that the count may be taking place at Milepost 121 or Milepost 120 instead of the regular Hawkwatch Weekend site of mile 121.

Hawkmasters Davis and Rubenthaler would probably appreciate any fresh provisions you’d like to bring along, but please use disposable or recyclable dishes/utensils so they don’t have to worry about returning them.

Also please be advised that they have  job to do, so large groups of absolute beginners who need a personal course in Hawkwatching is not the most productive use of their time.  Fortunately, that’s EXACTLY what the Hawkwatch Weekend is for.

We hope to see you up the road.!


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