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Hawkfest Poster 2013


North central Washington is home to some of the most amazing species in the northwest, but many people don’t know it is also a major pit stop for hawks flying from Alaska to the southwest and Mexico. This September is a great opportunity to learn about this amazing migration, and get face-to-face with raptors of all shapes and sizes. Join the Methow Valley Ranger District, North Central Washington Audubon Society, HawkWatch International, and the North Cascades Basecamp for the fourth annual Chelan Ridge Hawk Migration Festival! The festival coincides with the peak of southbound raptor migration at Chelan Ridge—the best place in Washington to view this journey. This family event combines free activities in Pateros with trips to the Chelan Ridge site to learn about and celebrate raptors as they journey to winter territories. The festivities continue at the North Cascades Basecamp, in Mazama, with a lecture and field trip. Please join us for the 2013 festival!

Saturday Sept. 14, 2013
Memorial Park, Pateros
8 AM - 3 PM
(click here for map)

FIELD TRIP: 8 AM - 12 PM: Wells Wildlife Area.
Trip Leaders: Jenny Graevell and Meredith Spencer

Join our leaders on an outing to the Wells Wildlife Area, located between Brewster and Bridgeport.  We will walk through managed shrubby uplands and riparian habitat, on dirt roads.  Target birds include migrating warblers, thrushes, and waterfowl. Some highlights from last year include Warbling Vireo, Gray Catbird, Lazuli Bunting, Orange-crowned Warbler and Palm Warbler!

Please meet in Pateros Memorial Park at 8:00 a.m. for a departure at 8:10 a.m. We will return to Pateros at 12:00 p.m.  Participants will carpool (about a 15 minute drive) to the Wells Wildlife Area parking lot, where a Discovery Pass is required.  Bring sunscreen, a hat and insect repellent.

Group size limited to 20 people. Sign up by emailing Richard Scranton at


Ongoing activities for the whole family in Memorial Park. Free!

  • Environmental education and interpretation-- learn all about migrating raptors and the ecosystems on which they depend

  • See live raptors up close, from the Okanogan Wildlife League

  • Hands-on projects for kids, including owl pellet dissections!

  • Shop vendors: arts, books, optics, birding gear, and more

  • Catch shuttles for field trips to the spectacular Chelan Ridge raptor migration site!
    Chelan Ridge sits 5,675 feet above sea level along the flyway for migrating raptors, such as sharp-shinned hawk, broad-winged hawk, peregrine falcon, and golden eagle. Biologists who live at the Ridge during the migration season will offer insights on how the birds are studied and tracked. See raptors like sharp-shinned hawks as they are banded and released. This is an amazing experience with environmental education and interpretation conducted by an on-site educator and Forest Service personnel. (Please note: field trips are restricted to people ages 11 and above.)

    • Shuttles leave every hour, on the hour, from Memorial Park, Pateros, from 8 AM until 2 PM. Because shuttle space is limited, we strongly recommend that you pre-reserve your spot at the website listed below. Please note: children must be at least 11 years old to participate in these field trips.

    • Each trip takes 4 hours total. The route to Chelan Ridge is on bumpy, unpaved Forest Service Roads. It takes one hour to get to the site; you will then have 2 hours onsite to explore, talk with the educators, and see any raptors that have been banded. You will then board the shuttle for the one-hour return trip to Pateros.

    • Please note that Chelan Ridge is more than a mile high in elevation, is quite windy, and will be significantly colder than the valley floor in Pateros. Be prepared for any kind of weather-- multiple layers, rain gear, windbreakers, sturdy hiking shoes, hats, and gloves (it's hard to hold binoculars when your hands are cold!)

    • Bring binoculars! Also bring snacks and water; a thermos of warm tea or cocoa can be quite welcome on a chilly day. Portable outhouses will be available onsite, but there are no other facilities or shelter. Please pack out all trash with you.

    • The observation site is about a mile hike from the shuttle drop-off/pick-up zone. Each group will have interpreters who will hike with you and answer all your questions about the birds, the habitat, and the project. For those who aren't up to a hike, you may wander or picnic near the shuttle zone.

    • In addition to the daily raptor counts at the observation site, other biologists will be nearby banding some of the birds passing through. You can never predict when they might catch a bird-- sometimes there will be a flurry of activity, while at other times, hours will go by without catching any. However, for the last part of each field trip, if they've been lucky enough to catch a hawk, they will bring it out to show to the group and answer questions. Some lucky participant will then be allowed to let the bird go!

      Now that you know more about the Chelan Ridge trips, plan your day and sign up for a shuttle at the link below. We're looking forward to seeing you!

Field trip spaces are filling quickly!
Click here to sign up for the free shuttle trips
to the Chelan Ridge Hawk Migration site. The link will take you to the HawkWatch International registration page.

For more festival information......

...and more CELEBRATION.....

Sat. Sept. 14 & Sunday Sept. 15, 2013
North Cascades Basecamp
Mazama, WA

Sat. Sept. 14, evening: guest speaker

Sunday Sept. 15: FIELD TRIP

For more information, please visit the North Cascades Basecamp website.

To register/RSVP for these events, call the Basecamp at 509-996-2334, or email

Festival information will also be updated on our NCWAS Facebook page.

Still have questions?
Please email Richard Scranton:,
or call 509-421-3166.