Meet the 2021 Crew: Corpus Christi

21 September 2021

Our Corpus Christi migration crew is entering their 7th week of counting and the skies have been busy with birds! The crew has counted nearly 25,000 Mississippi Kites and is still expecting more on the way. But, Broad-winged Hawks are unsurprisingly the site’s most numerous species so far. The crew may have already had their most interesting week of the season—with visits from an adult Bald Eagle, a non-adult Golden Eagle, a close molting adult Prairie Falcon circling with an adult female Northern Harrier, and brilliant looks at a simply stunning adult light morph Short-tailed Hawk! Here’s to hoping this good luck keeps up.

However,  not all the birds have been playing nice in the sky. The crew has witnessed both White-tailed Hawks and Harris’s Hawks be escorted off of the premises by local bird species. This can be a common sight during migration, especially early in the season when resident birds aren't thinking about moving yet. With hundreds of thousands of birds passing through Corpus Christi in one season, there are bound to be some disputes.

Thinking of visiting Corpus this fall? Due to the high number of COVID cases, the Corpus Christi platform has had to implement some extra measures to keep everyone safe. Signage is posted around the park; please be sure to especially keep your distance from the counters. We are trying our best to continue to share this site with you all and keep our “doors” open for the season.

So who are the counters for this year? Please welcome some new and some returning members to our 2021 Corpus Christi migration crew.

 Dane Ferrel and Libby Even

Dane Ferrell and Libby Evan

Dane has completed over 19 seasons for HWI, including single seasons at former HWI sites at Smith Point and the Sandia Mountains. This will be his 17th season at Corpus Christi! Libby began volunteering at the Corpus Christi site back in 1999. In 2006, Libby came on as a counter for the migration crew. Libby and Dane have coordinated Corpus Christi for many years and were even married on the HawkWatch Platform in 2012!

Daniel Horton

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Daniel is returning for his fourth year counting at the Corpus Christi HawkWatch! Outside of the migration season, Daniel has served as a bander, counter, and nest monitor for a variety of species around the world, but mostly those that are threatened and endangered.

Caroline Wolfe-Merritt

Caroline Wolfe Merritt

Caroline graduated from Earlham College in 2020 with a B.A. in Biology. Her interest in birds began after conducting undergraduate research on Tree Swallow nesting behavior, which has since led her to various positions in museums, conservation management, and banding.

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