Thanks to everyone who attended and helped us celebrate 30 years of raptor conservation!
HawkWatch International celebrated three decades of raptor conservation with HWI Founder, Steve Hoffman and more than 250 guests. We had a wonderful evening catching up with old friends and introducing new ones to the organization. Paul Parker, HWI Executive Director, presented Steve with HWI's Lifetime Achievement Award for his role in starting HWI and his dedication to raptor conservation.
We want to thank all of our sponsors for making the celebration possible, our musical guests Kyle Hicks and Trevor Hicks Collins, Natalia Wilkins Tyler for her illustration of Calurus used on the event collateral, Tera Hunter for painting our statue for Steve, and everyone else who participated in some way or another.
We look forward to another 30 years of working to protect raptors and our shared environments with our supporters! Thank you!!!
Eyes to the Skies with Steve Hoffman & Jerry Liguori
Thanks to everyone who joined our field trip on Saturday following the 30th celebration event. We had a fantastic day of hawk watching with 70 birds counted of more than 10 different species, including Coopers, Sharp-shinned, Swainson's, and Red-tailed Hawks, Northern Harrier, Golden and Bald Eagles, American Kestrel and Peregrine Falcons, and Turkey Vulture!
Steve Hoffman Bio
Steve Hoffman is a man who has dedicated his life to studying and protecting raptors with a fervor unlike most. He has used his knowledge and charisma for decades to teach conservation and ingrain in the public a respect and appreciation for raptors and the environment we all share.
Steve recalls going on camping trips with his family when he was young, which is where he gained his passion for nature and the outdoors. While he was a freshman at Albright College in Eastern Pennsylvania, he discovered Hawk Mountain Sanctuary just 25 miles away. Steve’s biology professor took his class up to Hawk Mountain in late September in 1969 to hawk watch and learn about migration. And what a day it was with more than 4,000 birds of 13 species. Steve learned what many do when they visit a migration site, that witnessing a raptor migration is a phenomenon of nature that inspires and captures the imagination. He was hooked! Steve went back again and again each fall, every chance he had. Graduate school eventually took him West where he attended Utah State University. This is where the history of HawkWatch International begins. In his quest to discover a Hawk Mountain of the West, he hiked up the Wellsville Mountains and found a stream of raptors overhead. The site later became an HWI count site from 1987-2008. Of course at that time, it was purely recreational and he had no idea he’d be starting a nonprofit 10 years later. Hawk migration was an unknown phenomenon in the West when Steve discovered the Wellsvilles in 1976, or at least it certainly was not studied. After grad school, Steve went on to work for the BLM and then the US Fish and Wildlife Service as an endangered species biologist in Albuquerque, NM for 10 years. But all the while, Steve had raptors on the mind. Together with some close friends, Steve started conducting migration counts and banding efforts at the Goshute Mountains, NV in 1980, and then began counts at Sandias Mountains and Manzanos Mountains, NM. 30 years later, HawkWatch International is still counting and these three sites represent the longest, consecutive running sites the organization operates. Steve left HWI in 1999, and has been serving as the Executive Director of the Montana Audubon since 2006.
Food & Drinks
Special thanks to our sponsors for making this event possible, and to Natalia Wilkins-Tyler for creating the invitation artwork of Calurus, our Red-tailed Hawk.