The Goshute Mountain migration crew is now on their third week of counting for the season. But in order to get started, the crew first had to go through a grueling hike up 9000 feet above sea level—all while carrying the essentials on their back. Once at the top, their next challenge was to dig through “the pile.” During the offseason, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lets HWI keep some of our supplies under a layer of tarps to help make setup a bit easier. This pile also houses buckets of the crew’s waste from last season’s composting toilets, in this year’s case, from TWO seasons ago. Not all fieldwork is glamorous!
About a week in, HWI brings in the helicopter. Typically we bring the helicopter in earlier to have everything ready before the crew arrives, but because of the fires this year, the helicopters were needed for air support. With the help from staff on the ground—over 4,000 lbs of water, fresh and shelf-stable food, and hawk watching supplies are sent up to the mountain peak. This year we were lucky that the temperatures were cool and that the wind was mild, making the work much easier for the crew and the pilot.
The crew has already counted over 375 birds of 16 different species! Some highlights include a Northern Goshawk, Ferruginous Hawk, and 3 Osprey. The annual count for the Goshutes ranges from 10-25,000 birds, so the crew has a lot of counting ahead of them. Who is the crew for the 2021 season? Let us introduce you!
Will Britton, Crew Lead
Will has been doing avian fieldwork for six years with raptors, songbirds, and shorebirds. This year is his 7th fall hawkwatch and 5th season with HawkWatch International You may recognize Will from his previous seasons at Commissary Ridge and Chelan Ridge.
Jojo Morelli is a field biologist who has been doing avian fieldwork for four years. She has hawk watched at Commissary Ridge, WY, Chelan Ridge, WA, and at the Bridger Mountains, MT.
Kirsti Carr has previously worked one season at the Goshute Mountains. She has hawk watched at the Golden Gate Raptor Observatory and worked as a technician on projects with Common Loons, montane songbirds, Red-headed Woodpeckers, Lesser Prairie-Chickens, and shorebirds.
Melissa Marshall is a first-time hawk watcher. She has a wildlife background in mammal and bird work. She worked on the Channel Islands for six seasons, mostly with foxes, skunks, and rodents, but occasionally with seabirds and land birds, too. She hopes to improve her raptor trapping and ID skills.
Matthew Dickey is also spending his first season monitoring the fall raptor migration. He has worked with seabirds in coastal Maine, Snail Kites in Florida, and most recently Prairie Falcons in the Snake River Canyon of Idaho. He is most excited to experience a great number of migrating raptors and to spend the fall amongst the Bristlecone pines.