Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Quick Trip to Hawk Mountain

I made an all too brief stop at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary on Saturday to attend a planning meeting for the upcoming HMANA conference next September. It was our first session, and Laurie Goodrich, the monitoring biologist at Hawk Mountain, has already put together the shell of the activities. The conference will bring together raptor biologists and enthusiasts from all over North America, and the planned events and sessions sound great. I'm going to be working mostly with publicity for the event and will probably work at the event itself as well.

I had hoped to be able to arrive early enough to at least go up to the South Lookout, which is near the road, for a few minutes. The view from up there is spectacular even when raptors aren't flying, but I soon realized that I didn't have enough time in the day for that. So my trip was limited to the meeting site at Hawk Mountain's still new Acopian Center down at the bottom of the mountain. The first photo shows the side of the building that faces the mountain and its observation deck. The Acopian Center is a residence and field station for visiting scientists. Hawk Mountain also holds events in the main space upstairs. Our meeting was held downstairs in a conference room/library.

I took the second photo in the conference room. It shows a photo of Maurice Broun, the first curator of the mountain, in the center. His wife Irma is on the right. The couple lived on the mountain starting in the late 30's, when hawk shooting, not hawk watching, was a major fall sport on the mountain. When the land was purchased by Rosalie Edge for raptor conservation, the couple moved onto the mountain to close the land to hunting and begin the process of education. They received death threats for prohibiting hawk shooting. But they persevered and the tide turned, and Hawk Mountain became the first sanctuary for birds of prey.

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