Have you ever wondered where the name “Gunsight” comes from? The mountain our HawkWatch shares a home with has a deep half-circle dip in the peak, resembling a gunsight on a weapon. Gunsight is a relatively new name, documented by the U.S. Geological Survey in 1952. The mountain has also been called “Siz’aani” by the Ahtna—Alaska Native peoples of the Athabaskan-speaking ethnolinguistic group. Siz’aani translates to “heart.”
It is no surprise that our hearts call us back to Gunsight Mountain every spring to witness the spring migration of raptors. This beautiful winter wonderland has already begun to see the start of Bald and Golden Eagles returning home. Counting for us this season are two longtime hawkwatchers and Gunsight Mountain veterans. We are so grateful these two are spending another season at the watch with us. Get to know our counters below!
Arthur has been counting raptors for business and pleasure since 2009. This is his third tour at Gunsight Mountain HawkWatch and his fifth with HWI. Apart from his stateside counting and consulting work, he spent five seasons abroad counting raptors in a former Soviet country. Alaska natives now seem to assume he’s a resident and probably wanted in several states.
2023 will be Cory’s second year counting at the Gunsight HawkWatch. Cory has been counting birds across the U.S. since 2013. When he is not birding, he is usually on a rock climbing trip. He likes taking wildlife photos and is really enjoying scenic Alaska.
This blog was written by Sammy Riccio, HWI’s Donor Engagement Coordinator.You can learn more about Sammy here.