Saturday, September 20, a Yellowstone Raptor Initiative volunteer will be leading the Hayden Valley Hawk Watch, in celebration of Yellowstone’s raptors.
Katy Duffy, a veteran park ranger and raptor expert, will lead the watch throughout the day, discussing raptor migration habits and their place in Yellowstone ecology.
The Hayden Valley Hawk Watch will begin 9 a.m. at the Fishing Bridge Visitor Center with a 45-minute presentation. The presentation will cover raptor identification, using the Center’s many mounted raptors as examples. Visitors may then proceed to the Hayden Valley to hawk watch.
There will be a field tour starting at 11 a.m. from a turnout nine miles north of Fishing Bridge Junction—or roughly six-and-a-half miles south of Canyon Junction. If you’re driving out that day to the turnout for the Hayden Valley Hawk Watch, keep an eye out for a pair of sandwich boards and a ranger with a spotting scope.
The main observation period for raptors will run from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Watchers are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and their own viewing equipment (such as binoculars) for the most optimal, comfortable experience.
Free and open to the public, the Hayden Valley Hawk Watch has been happening for the past few years, in conjunction with the Yellowstone Raptor Initiative. If you wish for more information, you should contact Katy Duffy at 307-699-2696.
The Yellowstone Raptor Initiative is a five-year program begun in 2011 that seeks to teach Yellowstone visitors about raptors in the Park. The Initiative monitors select species besides popular raptors such as eagles, ospreys, and peregrine falcons. Specifically, the Initiative seeks to chart the movement and behavior of golden eagles, red-tailed hawks, Swainson’s hawks, prairie falcons, owls, and American kestrels.
The Initiative also elicits input from citizen scientists and birdwatchers. If you wish to contribute, you can pick up a raptor observation form, available online as well as in all visitor centers and ranger stations in Yellowstone National Park.