Meet the 2022 Crew: Gunsight Mountain HawkWatch

08 March 2022
Meet the 2022 Crew: Gunsight Mountain HawkWatch Neil Paprocki

Today, March 10th marks the start of the 2022 spring migration count at the Gunsight Mountain HawkWatch in Alaska! A partnership between HWI and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, the Gunsight Mountain HawkWatch season runs through May 15th and is the northernmost count site in North America. This valley migration site is best known for its large concentrations of Harlan’s subspecies of Red-tailed Hawk, as well as good numbers of Golden Eagles, Rough-legged Hawks, Northern Harriers, and Northern Goshawks. In fact, a paper recently published using data collected at Gunsight Mountain found that Golden Eagle populations in Alaska might be 3-5 times higher than previously estimated! 

Many of you may be wondering if you can come visit our Alaskan site. We ask that visitors check and follow both CDC and local guidelines for pandemic-related safety steps. If you, or someone close to you, is experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19 please reschedule your visit. We also ask that you respect the comfort level and any distancing or other requests made by counters. The success of these efforts depends on keeping everyone safe and healthy so we can all count and enjoy seeing migrating raptors! If you want to keep up with our count throughout the season, be sure to check our count page, join the Friends of Gunsight Mountain HawkWatch Facebook group, and sign up for our newsletter.

So who is spending their spring in the snowy mountains of Alaska? Let us introduce you to our two awesome counters!

Arthur Green

awg bio image

Arthur has been counting raptors for business and pleasure since 2009. This is his second tour at Gunsight Mountain and his fourth with HWI. Apart from his work stateside, he spent five seasons abroad counting raptors in Batumi, Republic of Georgia. He enjoys cold weather, rustic locales, and having enough eagles to shake a finnstick at.

Matt Dickey

image

Matt is returning for his second count with HWI after a season this past fall at the Goshute Mountains HawkWatch. He has worked with seabirds in coastal Maine, Snail Kites in Florida, and Prairie Falcons in the Snake River Canyon of Idaho. Matt is super stoked to experience Alaska for the first time—not only to count some super rad raptors but also to witness its incredible environment and frigid temperatures. Outside of hawkwatching, Matt is an avid skier.

If you want to learn more about why we count at Gunsight Mountain and what we’ve learned, check out our recent webinar: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJDKEQvDvk4&t=26s