Sweeping desert views, fabulous hawkwatching, and even better people are what make up our Goshute Mountains HawkWatch! Since August 15th, our crew of five has been counting and banding together up on the ridge. So far, we’ve seen 132 individuals of 11 different species. Right now, Red-tailed Hawks make up 69% of birds spotted but will likely be overtaken by Accipiters as the season progresses.
This year our crew is full of familiar faces. In fact, every single crew member has worked with HWI before this fall count season. Keep reading to hear about these hawkwatching veterans.
Will Britton, Crew Lead
Will is from Arkansas and has been doing avian fieldwork for seven years. During his fieldwork career, he has worked in 19 US states and with several groups of birds, including raptors, songbirds, seabirds, and shorebirds. This year is his 8th fall Hawkwatch and 6th fall season with HawkWatch International, having counted at Commissary Ridge and Chelan Ridge. He has also counted at the Bridger Mountains and the Belize Hawk Watch. This year he is most looking forward to making more lifelong memories at the Goshutes. His favorite raptor is the Common Black Hawk.
Kirsti Carr, Banding Lead
Kirsti Carr has previously worked two seasons at the Goshute Mountains and is glad to be back for a third. She started hawkwatching at the Golden Gate Raptor Observatory and, outside of raptor migration, has worked as a technician on projects with various bird species, most recently with tundra-nesting shorebirds in Alaska. When not in the field, Kirsti loves to spoil her furry nieces and nephews. She is most looking forward to honing her whistling skills with the local ridgetop whistling expert, Matt Dickey. Her favorite raptor is a Red-legged Seriema.
Joanna (Jojo) Morelli has been working as a seasonal field biologist for five years. She has counted previously at the Commissary Ridge, Chelan Ridge, and Bridger Mountains hawkwatches; this will be her second season counting at the Goshute Mountains Hawkwatch. She is looking forward to celebrating Halloween on the mountain again. Her favorite raptor is the Turkey Vulture.
Matt Dickey is returning for his second season at the Goshutes and third season hawkwatching. He spent the spring counting at Gunsight Mountain in Alaska, where he discovered a new definition of cold. In his free time, he studies bird law. He holds a Bachelor of Science in wildlife ecology and has been working seasonal field jobs since 2016. He is most looking forward to greeting his old Bristlecone Pine friends up on the hill along with his hawkwatching friends from last season.
Zach Higgins is a New Jersey native who moved west for wide-open public lands and a good snowpack. He grew up searching for reptiles and amphibians around the creeks and ponds in his hometown, which sparked his passion for wildlife. His passions for wildlife and snowboarding brought him to the University of Utah, where he studied Wildlife Ecology and Conservation. Since graduating, Zach has worked monitoring Boreal toad populations, surveying for Mojave desert tortoises, and surveying for and restoring populations of native fish in northeastern Nevada. Most recently, Zach worked on our 2022 American Kestrel Studies project. When he's not on the job, Zach enjoys mountain biking, snowboarding, skateboarding, birding, and baking bread. This will be Zach's first season hawkwatching with us, and he is excited to embrace life in the Goshute range. His favorite raptor is the next one that comes down the ridge.
If you are looking to keep up with the Goshute crew, join the “Friends of Goshute Mountains HawkWatch” Facebook page. There you can chat with the crew and ask questions before you head up for a visit. If you are looking for our most current counts or information on how to visit our sites, check out this page on our website.
This blog was written by Sammy Riccio, HWI's Donor Engagement Coordinator.
You can learn more about Sammy here.