Meet the 2021 Crew: Grand Canyon

09 September 2021

After setting up the Manzano’s crew, Tori Thorpe and Chris Butler drove down to the Grand Canyon HawkWatch. Because the Grand Canyon site is inside a National Park, the crew gets to stay in park housing. With “camp” all ready to go, that means that setup is a breeze. The crew got ready for their first day of counting by bringing out a few folding chairs to sit out on the rim of the canyon. Can you imagine having a better office?

With every migration crew, we give a rundown on the expectations for the season, along with an ID lesson. No matter if our crew is made up of early-career biologists, or seasoned veterans, we always go through training. Generally, this includes teaching the crew how to scan the sky and what field marks they should look for. Much of this is spent staring up at the clouds, comparing tail feather lengths, assessing how pointy the wings are, and drawing attention to differences in coloration. When HWI staff isn’t around, each crew has a copy of Hawks at a Distance to reference. For our banding crews, they also have our In-hand Guide to Diurnal Raptors to help with banding and aging tips.

So far, the Grand Canyon crew has counted 16 species of raptors, including Osprey, Golden Eagles, and Merlins. The Grand Canyon site is also privy to visits from the local, Critically Endangered California Condors.

Help us in welcoming the migration crew at the Grand Canyon HawkWatch site! We are so excited to introduce them.

Kaitlyn Stroik

Kaitlyn Stroik

Kaitlyn is excited to start her first migration season with HawkWatch International. She is very passionate about birds in general but is specifically interested in working more with raptors. She is looking forward this fall to seeing different species of hawks native to the western United States.

Patrick Teetsel

Patrick Teetsel

Patrick Teetsel may be new to HWI but he does have previous experience working with raptors. Before joining the Grand Canyon crew, Patrick worked with Northern Spotted Owls, as well as with small mammals and reptiles.

Paige Dunnum

Paige Dunnum

Paige Dunnum recently graduated from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. This will be her first time at the Grand Canyon and her first time hawk-watching, but not her first time working with HWI! Paige previously worked with Markus Mika, one of our partners we collaborate on our Following Forest Owl Projects. Paige’s work with Flammulated Owls is what inspired her love of raptors.

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