West County Hawkwatch 2019/2020 Event dates are listed below, More dates coming soon. We are a North Bay Area, (Ca.) group bringing attention to North American Birds of Prey and the threats they face. We provide Identification and Education Programs, Hikes, Tours and ID Workshops. We also monitor encroachment of wind turbines into the North Bay, we do Nest Site protection, Raptor Migration counts, Studies and Documentation. Donations received fund youth Educational and Book Programs.
Wildlife biologist Monte Kirven was instrumental in ensuring the survival of peregrine falcons in Northern California.
love of nature and the outdoors was an integral part of his life. In time, his
interest in fishing and hunting were nurtured into consuming passions that
became lifelong pursuits. When his mother remarried a Navy man, they moved
frequently. He attended Coronado High School in Coronado, CA, and East High
School in Memphis, Tennessee, and graduated in 1955. He then attended the
University of Mississippi where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology
in 1960. He was a member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity and was in the Army ROTC
program; later commissioned as an officer after graduation. In 1964, he was
trained in Military Intelligence at Fort Ord, CA.
In 1977, Monte earned a Ph.D. in Biology at University of
Colorado studying bat falcons in Venezuela. Returning to California, he taught
courses in biology and ecology at both Sonoma State University and Santa Rosa
Junior College. During this period, he collaborated with Robert Riseborough,
Geoff Monk, D.A. “Sandy” Boyce, Brian Walton, and others to determine the
pesticide contamination levels in peregrine prey species; studied the foraging
behavior of nesting peregrines in a geothermal development area via
radio-telemetry with Dr. James Enderson; and was employed by the Ukiah District
of the Bureau of Land Management to conduct a decade-long survey of nesting
peregrines in northern California. He is credited with helping to show eggshell
thinning in endangered peregrine falcons that led to the banning of DDT for
agricultural use in 1972.
A falconer for over 50 years, Monte was accomplished at training
peregrine falcons for the hunting of waterfowl. In addition, he mentored many
aspiring falconers to care properly for their birds and to hunt successfully
He is survived by his daughter Kathleen K. Groppe of Lancaster,
TX, sons Kenneth of San Diego, CA, and Brian of Point Reyes Station, CA, sister
Marcia A. Gray of Helen, MT, and her children Alex, Tessa, Andrew and Jimmy and
former wife Valerie Quate.