As of this past Sunday, the 29th season of long-term monitoring at the Bonney Butte HawkWatch is underway! A nearby fire and related forest closure means that we cannot yet welcome visitors to the site. Keep an eye on our social media, including our Friends of Bonney Butte HawkWatch page, and while we wait, follow the count here to see how the season’s going!
When we are able to host visitors at the Butte, you’ll be treated to beautiful views of Mt. Hood and maybe even a Merlin zipping by. Our Bonney Butte HawkWatch is the only standardized count site operating in the Pacific Northwest, making its data essential to our network!
You’ll also get to meet the crew in person, but for now, let us virtually introduce them. If you followed the action at Bonney Butte last fall, the 2023 crew looks a lot like the 2022 crew, and that’s because we have three members of that team returning this year. Joining them is another HWI veteran plus a new member of the HWI team.
Karl is super excited to return as a crew lead to the HawkWatch with the best view in the world! Karl graduated a few years ago from Colorado State University with a Bachelor’s in Wildlife Biology and has had the privilege of working all over the West as a field ornithologist since then. He loves working with HWI because it gives him a chance to meet so many amazing people (and dogs) to share his love of birds with. When Karl isn’t being a bird nerd professionally, he puts some major miles on his vehicle following rare bird reports in hopes of adding to his life list, though Karl also enjoys reading science fiction, making scale model airplanes, and playing a good round of disc golf. Karl looks forward to seeing you all up on the Butte this fall!
Gillian is a wildlife field technician originally from Indiana, where she earned a Wildlife Biology and Conservation degree from Ball State University. Since graduating, she has worked in numerous research positions, most recently working for the Oregon Bureau of Land Management surveying for Northern Spotted Owls. Previously she counted at Tussey Mountain Hawkwatch in the spring of 2022 and Bonney Butte HawkWatch in the fall of 2022. She is looking forward to her second season at Bonney Butte HawkWatch and watching the seasons change in the Mt. Hood National Forest. When not doing fieldwork, you can find Gillian spending time with her dog Irwin at the park, or going on road trips! One of her favorite raptors is the Harris’s Hawk due to its unique social behavior.
Tim is from Michigan and has an extensive background in avian fieldwork. He has worked on projects ranging from raptor banding to waterbird counts to shorebird nest surveys and banding. This is Tim’s second season counting with HawkWatch International. He is excited to be back at Bonney and to get the first full season of banding in with the new blind.
Jamie graduated from Indiana University in 2021 and then started work for Mississippi State University as a field tech doing point count surveys for secretive marsh birds. This summer, Jamie was a research assistant in Laos, working with Asian Elephants. This season, he is most looking forward to seeing the northern birds he missed during his season at the Corpus Christi HawkWatch: the American Goshawk and Rough-legged Hawk. Jaime’s favorite raptor is a Mississippi Kite.
Anna is excited to be starting her first HawkWatch season this August. Anna has two seasons of experience working with Northern Spotted Owls, which have subsequently earned their place as her favorite raptor. For fun, Anna spends her weekends birding and exploring the outdoors.
If you need help planning your trip or are curious about how the count is going throughout the season, join our “Friends of Bonney Butte HawkWatch” Facebook group! There you can chat directly with our crew and other bird nerds excited about the fall count.
This blog was written by Sammy Riccio, our Communications Manager, as well as our 2023 crewmembers. You can learn more about Sammy here.