Meet the 2017 Goshutes Crew

11 September 2017 Written by  
The 2017 Goshutes Crew (left to right: Emilee, Scott, Allie, Frank, Casey) The 2017 Goshutes Crew (left to right: Emilee, Scott, Allie, Frank, Casey) Photo by Will Britton of the Commissary Ridge HawkWatch

Text and photos by Casey Weissburg

Fall migration is well underway here at the Goshute Mountains HawkWatch, as we enter our fourth week of counting with over 1,300 raptors migrated already, and almost 150 trapped and banded, including our first Golden Eagle of the season, three Northern Goshawks, and even three Peregrine Falcons, a species that is historically very difficult to capture here. We are already seeing over one hundred birds migrating per day, and even had our first 200-bird day on September 4th.

The crew this season is comprised of four HawkWatch International veterans, including crew leader Scott Shively, Frank Simeone, Casey Weissburg and Emilee Sparks representing sites from all across the migration network, and our fifth member Allie Pesano joins the team from Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory, bringing with her a wealth of banding experience. Read about the crew below, and come join us for a day or more of gorgeous views and exciting movement as migration is already heating up!

  • Scott Shively, a Pacific Northwest native, is returning to HWI for a third migration season after spending the previous two falls at the Bonney Butte site near Mt. Hood, OR. Aside from hawkwatching, Scott works seasonally for the US Forest Service in Washington's central Cascades, maintaining wilderness trails in the summer and conducting carnivore research in the winter. He is looking forward to the high volume of raptors known to pass over the Goshutes and feels honored to meet and be a part of the community surrounding this legendary site: all of the staff, volunteers, and visitors that make the operation possible and help to create the magic that is Goshutes migration.

  • Frank Simeone is originally from New Jersey but his love of mountains keeps him traveling in the West. He has spent the last year working with HawkWatch International counting at the Commissary Ridge HawkWatch in Wyoming for the 2016 fall season and at the Gunsight Mountain site in Alaska for the spring 2017 season. He started working with HawkWatch to have an excuse to look at raptors all day but is striving to study them all year round. He enjoys living simply in the outdoors, traveling, and spends his winters cooking and skiing.

  • Casey Weissburg grew up in California but has spent most of the past three years on the road, traveling between field jobs. She counted at the Grand Canyon HawkWatch last year but brings to the team a diverse range of banding and surveying experience with both songbirds and raptors, as well as an obsessive passion for watching birds that takes her back and forth across the country multiple times a year. Learning more about birds and the cycles of their lives is what she lives for, and migration is a big and fascinating piece of that puzzle.

  • Emilee Sparks hails from Arizona and counted at the Grand Canyon HawkWatch in 2015. She has spent the last four and a half years working various bird jobs all across the United States and even in South Africa. Growing up, she wanted to travel for a living, and field work has helped to fulfill that dream. After volunteering for the Natural History Field Museum in Chicago for two years, she would love to end up in a museum somewhere, collecting specimens from around the world.

  • Allie Pesano comes to us from the East where she grew up in New York. Having worked many different avian ecology positions, from studying tidal marsh sparrow demography to chasing down Golden and Blue-winged Warblers to retrieve geolocators, she found a true passion in learning more about birds and how they adapt to their ever-changing environments throughout the year. Last Fall, she worked at Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory as a Banding Trainee, hoping to explore new areas of ornithology, and she fell in love with raptors and how they migrate. Working at the Goshutes this season is going to be an amazing and challenging experience that will allow her to expand her trapping and counting experience, all while being inspired by amazing birds!

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