Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Words for Solano Raptor ID team.
My 1st Team!
This was a vision of ours back in the late 90s, raptor themed hikes and workshops. West County Hawk Watch always wanted to take people out to the fall and winter raptor (birds of prey) hotspots and share the experience only hawks can deliver and pass along the knowledge about birds of prey and the environment we all share.
Jesse House (wchw co-founder) and I met Ken Poerner from the Solano Land Trust back around 2000 at a public outreach and education table at the Pacific Flyway Festival. We talked up the area around Robinson, Flannery, Canright, Creed and Goose Heavan roads down along the way to Travis AFB. We called it the 12/113 grid (hwys 12/113)
We told Ken about all the great over wintering birds we'd always see. Consistently many Ferruginous and Rough Legged sightings, intermixed with random Peregrine Falcon, Merlin and Great horned Owls. We’d have reliable Prairie Falcons sometimes finding 5 or 6 a day. We also a decent amount of Golden Eagles along with the normal crew of Red-tailed Hawks, Red-shouldered Hawks, Coopers Hawks. White-tailed Kites, Northern Harriers and American Kestrels.
We explained to Ken we were seeing all these birds and wanted to document it with the county of Solano somehow. Ken explained all those birds were also on Solano Land Trust properties and it’d be good to put our skills as guides, survey and documentation towards the areas within the land trust, where the resources could be merged into not only documenting the raptors on the land but actually getting people out on the land to see and learn what open space does.
I often sat in company of rare over-wintering and migrating raptors. Often seeing amazing “scenes of nature” playing out, all the while, stewing about initiating public outreach to highlight birds of prey and the crucial habitat they need. I again contacted Ken Poerner and he put me in touch with Teri Engbring. The rest is history, Teri saw the fit and got me out to Lynch Canyon, and there is where it began.
We started this thing a few years back in 2007. Getting the plans together to find Raptor hot spots and get the public in to see the birds. Teri Engbring, former Solano Land Trust volunteer and education coordinator was pivotal in putting 4 things together, the land, educated guides and attendess (guests, donors and members) and the coordination to organize it all. And there you have it. Currently Mary Beth Crittenton runs the Solano Raptor hikes. Larry and Mary Beth report to Natalie DuMont who manages and authorizes the Solano Land Trust Raptor ID programs and hikes..