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Visit with Raptors: September 16, 2017

Eighth Annual Chelan Ridge Hawk Migration Festival

Join the Chelan/Entiat Ranger District, North Central Washington Audubon Society and HawkWatch International this fall for the eighth annual Chelan Ridge Hawk Migration Festival! This free family event combines activities in Pateros with a field trip to the Wells Wildlife Area, and morning and afternoon carpool trips to the Chelan Ridge HawkWatch site. This all starts at Memorial Park in Pateros, Washington on September 16th, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Chelan Ridge sits 5675 feet above sea level along the flyway of migrating raptors. Biologists who live at the Ridge during the migration season will offer insight into what it is like to live and breathe raptors and show how the birds are banded and tracked. This amazing experience includes environmental education and interpretation conducted by on-site educators, Forest Service personnel, and volunteers. During the day, there will be an 8 AM and a 12:30 PM carpool trip from Pateros to Chelan Ridge. From there you can hike ¾ mile to the observation deck watching the sky for migrating raptors overhead. Visitors will then get a close encounter with raptors such as Cooper’s Hawk as they are banded and released.

The Wells Wildlife Area field trip will be led by Audubon board member and graduate of the Seattle Audubon Master Birding Class, Mark Johnston. The area provides habitat for a variety of waterfowl. The Department of Fish and Wildlife has developed extensive riparian habitat on the unit providing dense cover for wildlife. This field trip will go from 8AM to 11:30 AM.

In Pateros, there will be fun for all ages. One booth features: What’s that Bird?, a fun analog birding simulation game where children find and name bird models in trees. The WSU Raptor Club will bring live raptors and talk about their life histories. A HawkWatch International booth will let you know about their conservation efforts and help answer all your raptor questions. The Methow Beaver Project will be on site with fun kid activities with face painting, beaver pelts, skulls and a build a dam hands-on activity. More booths will offer interactive science and plenty of bird education material. We are working to add a few more interesting educational booths and will post them accordingly.

The festival is also a great place to check out cutting edge optics from Wild Birds Unlimited and the latest birding guides and books from Trails End Bookstore. Daniel Anderman will be back with his wonderful birdhouses for sale. The local resource center will cook up smoked pulled pork sandwiches with corn on the cob between 11 and 1 PM.

This festival is scheduled to coincide with the peak of southbound migration of raptors at Chelan Ridge — the best place in Washington to view fall migrating raptors. Past festivals have brought several hundred people to see hawks up close, enjoy Memorial Park, and spend the day learning all about raptors. So please join us for the 2017 festival!

Friday Night Raptor Workshop with Dave Oleyar

Join Dr. Dave Oleyar from HawkWatch International for a raptor ID workshop in Pateros at 7PM on Friday, September 15th. Dave comes to HWI after teaching upper level undergraduate courses in population ecology and conservation biology in the Department of Fish and Wildlife Science at the University of Idaho. He loves sharing his passion for ecology and conservation with others whether it is in the classroom, at a public talk, or over a pint at the local watering hole.

Dave will also be available on Saturday up on the ridge to help visitors with their ID skills. The workshop will take place in the Fire Hall located at 191 Industrial Way, Pateros.

Transportation Change

Instead of shuttle bus transportation to the ridge during the Hawk Migration Festival, we must carpool. Black Canyon Road, one of the two roads up to the ridge, remains closed due to previous fires, so traffic up to the Hawk Watch Site must be limited.

Therefore, on Saturday the 16th, we will offer 2 field trips to Chelan Ridge:

• The first will leave Memorial Park in Pateros at 8 am and return at noon.

• The second will leave Memorial Park in Pateros at 12:30 pm and return at 4:30 pm. We need volunteer drivers. When signing up, please let us know if you can drive and how many extra people you can take in your vehicle. The road can be bumpy and all-wheel-drive is recommended.

Space for all 3 events is limited so sign up early.

Please arrive ½ hour early for the field trips. The departure point for the field trips will be at Memorial Park in Pateros behind the bakery.

To sign up for the Friday night workshop, the Wells Wildlife Area field trip and the Chelan Ridge field trip, please contact Richard Scranton at rscran4350@yahoo.com.