Meet the 2023 Crew: Goshute Mountains HawkWatch

Each fall since 1980, committed raptor conservationists have made their home 9,000 feet above sea level at the Goshutes Mountain HawkWatch. With stunning views of the salt flats and the desert, you are treated to the perfect backdrop for hundreds of migrating raptors. The Goshute Mountains HawkWatch is a quick trip under 2 hours from the closest city, Salt Lake City, around 5 from Boise and Vegas, and 6 from Reno. It is a must-visit and well worth the hike!

The only thing that makes our longest-running HawkWatch even better is the people! Let us introduce to you the folks who will spend this fall up on the ridge.

Zach Higgins

Zach started with HawkWatch International on the Cavity Adopting Raptor Ecology Studies (CARES), then joined the Goshutes crew in the fall of 2022, and most recently returned as the lead technician on CARES. He is most looking forward to sharing the magic of migration with all of this season’s visitors. His favorite raptor is the next one that flies down the ridge. 

Skyler Bol

Skyler has spent the past two fall migration seasons working with raptors in the West at hawk counts in the Bitterroot Valley, Montana, and at Chelan Ridge, Washington. He received degrees in Biology and Wildlife Management from Northern Arizona University and most recently worked in Puerto Rico with an endemic subspecies of Sharp-shinned Hawk. Outside of fieldwork, Skyler can be found at the local climbing area or swimmin’ in the nearest river and is excited to explore the high desert at and around the Goshutes site. His favorite raptor is the Swallow-tailed Kite.

Caroline Fegley

Caroline is a raptor biologist and scientific illustrator from Pennsylvania. She graduated from Elizabethtown College and has spent most of her career with Hawk Mountain Sanctuary as a trainee and volunteer. She likes to bird, rock climb, and play handpan and kalimba. She is most looking forward to living in a new state and seeing new bird species. She hopes to band a dark-morph Broad-winged Hawk because they are her favorite raptor, but has never seen one with dark plumage. 

Bob Fink

Bob grew up in Central Pennsylvania and now lives in Park City, UT. He has an Engineering Degree from Lehigh University and earned an MBA from the University of Utah. Bob is currently an Education Docent for HawkWatch International. This will be his first year at a migration site. Bob is excitedly looking forward to the magic of migration and the natural beauty of the Goshutes. A passion of Bob’s is exploring remote wild areas on extended backpacking trips. His favorite raptor is the species his binoculars currently have in focus ….as each raptor has a unique magic.

Amanda Young

Growing up in Costa Rica, the daughter of a zoologist and avid bird watcher, Amanda quickly developed an interest in the natural world and found the joys of birdwatching. She is a recent graduate from Colorado College with a degree in Organismal Biology and Ecology, which gave her the opportunity to expand her birdwatching and fieldwork experience over the last few years. Amanda has never worked at a Hawkwatch site before and is very excited to witness the raptor migration this year and learn all about these wonderful species. Amanda’s favorite raptor right now is the Red-tailed Hawk since its range extends to all the places she’s called home and has therefore always been a comforting and familiar presence to her. She is also an avid rock climber, hiker, and backpacker with a particular love of dogs.

If you need help planning your trip or are curious about how the count is going throughout the season, join our “Friends of Goshute Mountains 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.

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