9th Annual Chelan Ridge Hawk Migration Festival Pateros, Washington

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Terry O

Active Member
The festival held on September 15 and 16, 2017 was sponsored by the USFS Chelan/Entiat Ranger District, HawkWatch International and the North Central Washington Audubon Society. This free family event combined activities in Pateros, WA and trips to the Chelan Ridge migration site to learn about and celebrate raptors as they journey to winter territories. The festival included raptor demonstrations, local vendors, and a trip to the spectacular Chelan Ridge HawkWatch where we could observe raptors such as Cooper’s Hawks up close when they are banded and released. Chelan Ridge is 5,675 feet above sea level along the flyway of migrating raptors. HawkWatch International field crew who live at the Ridge during the migration season offered insight into what it is like to live and breathe raptors and showed how the birds are banded and tracked. It was an amazing experience with environmental education and interpretation conducted by on-site educators, Forest Service personnel, and volunteers.

The morning event included live raptor demonstrations, provided by Washington State University Raptor Club and Brad Felger, a master falconer

(click on the individual photos for increased resolution/detail....All images were made using a Canon 5Diii and 400mm f5.6L telephoto lens - hand held)

American Kestrel (WSU Raptor)
9-16-2017 Kestrel Pateros Hawkwatch_2656.JPG

American Kestrel (WSU Raptor Club)
9-16-2017 Kestrel Pateros Hawkwatch_2664.JPG

Aplomado Falcon (WSU Raptor Club)
9-16-2017 Aplomado Falcon Pateros Hawkwatch_2643.JPG

Gyrfalcon (Brad Felger)
9-16-2017 gyrfalcon Pateros Hawkwatch_2691.JPG

Great Horned Owl (WSU Raptor Club)
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Terry O

Active Member
Chelan Ridge HawkWatch Continued

After a 1.5 hour caravan trip to Chelan Ridge at elevation 6,500 feet volunteers and Forest Service officials provided up close views of the capture, banding, and release. We were able to watch the release of two Coopers Hawks, two Sharp-shinned Hawks, and a Merlin. We hiked about 3/4 mile to the 6,500 foot ridge where the counts were being made.

We stayed in our travel trailer at Alta Lake State Campground which was about 10 minutes from the festival site a Pateros. A very worthwhile experience that we hope to repeat next year.

Chelan Ridge - just room for a few birders
9-16-2017 Chelan Ridge site_2817.JPG

Captured birds are placed head-first into cans open at one end to be weighed, banded, and examined.
9-16-2017 containment cans chelan ridge_2699.JPG

The birds seem amazingly quiet once in the can.
9-16-2017 containment cans chelan ridge_2709.JPG

A banded Sharpie ready to be released
9-16-2017 Banded Sharpie ready for release chelan ridge_2729.JPG

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