Written by Secca Roettenbacher, Chelan Ridge HawkWatch crew member
The fall migration season at the Chelan Ridge HawkWatch almost was not. The numerous wildfires that started in the month of August had our crew members thinking that we may never get to see this beloved HawkWatch site. Thanks to the tireless work of the firefighters and FS employees (shout out to our FS partners Kent Woodruff and Jesse McCarty), we were able to return (and with somewhat VIP status) to Chelan Ridge just last week. The roads up to the migration site are still currently closed to public traffic while the roads are repaired and tree damage is cleared.
The crew is so excited to be at this site, and in two cases, to be back at this site. A quick introduction and some fun tidbits about the team: Our site leader is Kelsey Navarre. This will be her 4th season at Chelan. Kelsey did not have a fun tidbit for me, but she is an awesome site lead and very experienced bander; I am looking forward to learning from her. Jessica Taylor is our other Chelan veteran, and very excited to be back. Jessica likes to sing in the rain, but only if it’s warm. Also, she is a superhero. TC Walker is a new crew member this year from Colorado. He enjoys whistling at bluebirds at 13,000 feet. Tucker Davidson is also new this year. His favorite bird is the American Dipper. Also, he would really like to see a Gyrfalcon this season…I think we all might like that! Also some recognition for our two interns, Miranda and Ricky. Miranda likes all the things, and she was very excited to hold her first bird the other day. Ricky likes to dance when his friends are DJing, but he’ll pretty much dance any time there’s music. And finally, your internet liaison to all the incredible happenings at Chelan. My name is Secca, also hailing from colorful CO. Obviously I was not able to coax very interesting fun tidbits out of the crew, but I can assure you we are having a blast and looking forward to having visitors up at the site to experience these amazing birds with us, when and if we get the green light---stay tuned and until then watch for more blog posts/updates!
Though it is still early in the season, our daily counts have been fairly high. This is very encouraging, especially considering our bumpy start to the season. The banding blinds are up and running as well. These two stunning young Merlins were among the first few birds to get bands for the season.
The Chelan Ridge Hawk Migration Festival will take place this coming Saturday, September 12.