We’re excited to announce that migration is on once again this spring at the Gunsight Mountain HawkWatch in Alaska—North America’s northernmost migration monitoring site! This valley count is known for large Red-tailed Hawk and Golden Eagles counts, but also sees good flights of Rough-legged Hawks. and Northern Harriers. These 4 species comprise nearly 80% of the average yearly flight! Many of the Red-tailed Hawks are of the stunning Harlan’s subspecies, and light reflecting off of snow cover creates amazing looks at raptors flying overhead.
This year’s count, in partnership with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, is being conducted by Arthur Green and Cory French through May 15th. They each grew up in the northeast and come to Gunsight after working together on raptor-focused consulting projects in Oregon and Montana.
Raised in New York, Arthur has been watching hawks for a living since 2009. This is his second season counting for HWI, after counting at our Corpus Christi HawkWatch during the fall 2019 season. He says he enjoys cold weather and rustic locales, which is good—that’s exactly what this site has to offer. Joining Arthur is Cory who moved to the Rockies to study raptors after graduating from the University of New England-Biddeford, Maine with a degree in Environmental Science. This is his first season with HWI, but he's been studying raptors for seven years from Maine to Iowa and now Alaska. Cory enjoys taking photos of nature so he's really enjoying being in scenic Alaska. We’re happy to have both on the team this season and hope they see lots of migrants! So far, the crew has counted 103 eagles—91 Golden and 12 Bald.
As happy as we are to be back at one of our "coolest" sites, we are not encouraging visitors at this time due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We hope in lieu of visiting that that you’ll follow the count at hawkcount.org along with the blog and social media for more updates from Arthur and Cory. For locals that plan to come to the site (again, we discourage it), please mask up and follow other distancing measures to ensure the safety of all—you, Arthur and Cory, and the community.