Text and photos by Earl Johnson
Counting started at the Yaki Point, Grand Canyon HawkWatch on August 27th, and is slowly picking up as we near the peak season. About the crew this year:
Greg Cooper was born and raised in New York but has called the West home for over 5 years. During the summer, he works as an outdoor education for NOLS and is currently finishing up his schooling at Prescott College. He brings a strong passion for environmental education and finds no better way to hook people than raptors. Working at the Grand Canyon gives him the opportunity to share his passion with thousands of visitors through weekly interpretative talks. He also is going to design and present evening programs in order to reach more visitors and deliver more in depth information about HawkWatch International to the public. Greg is a huge fan of Northern Goshawks.
Balu is coming into his third season with HawkWatch International after working at Manzano Mountains HawkWatch in 2015 and the Goshute Mountains HawkWatch in 2016. Balu traveled all the way from Hungary for a third season to observe more North American raptor species. He has worked extensively with Saker Falcons in Europe but just couldn’t get enough of North America’s Prairie Falcon and is also hoping to put in some quality time with the California Condors while at the Grand Canyon.
Earl Johnson, from Boulder Colorado is coming into his third season of counting, the first two being at Hitchcock Nature Area in 2015 and HawkWatch Internationals Corpus Christi HawkWatch in 2016. Earl is really loving the Swainson's Hawks coming by the site already this fall!
As of this morning (9/20/2017), the crew has counted 757 migratory raptors this fall including the first Red-shouldered Hawk counted at the site since 1997!