Text and photos by Kumara MacLeod and Casey Weissburg
We have arrived once again to the glorious south rim of the Grand Canyon for the hawk count! This year's crew includes a wonderful team of avid birders with sharp eyes and lots of experience.
Casey Weissburg, from San Francisco, CA has worked all over the U.S. banding and nest monitoring including a recent stint monitoring Snail Kites in Florida.
Ben West hails from Iowa and has a wealth of experience as a birder since childhood and has recently come from a project working with Gray-cheeked Thrushes in Newfoundland.
Kumara MacLeod is returning for a second season after exploring the nooks and crannies of the Arizona wilds as a point count tech.
We are looking forward to another amazing season! Last year we broke the record high count for our perch at Yaki Point, and we are hoping for another productive year. The flight has started slow as usual, but has picked up with a few good days of sun between days of monsoon thunderstorms. Highlights of the season so far are an abundance of Swainson's Hawks, almost daily sightings of California Condors, a Peregrine Falcon picking apart the feathers of its prey on the wing, and our first Merlin! And let us not forget about a nice surprise visit by HWI Science Staff Dave Oleyar and Jesse Watson. It was great to finally meet you guys!
We are looking forward to beginning our weekly interpretive programs next Friday. Jerry Liguori will be joining the site next Saturday, September 10 for a day of ID programs. Swing by at any time to say hi and hawk watch with us!