November Program – GEMS!

LCAS Program, November 14, 2017, 7:00PM.  Doors open at 6:30 PM
Plymouth Congregational Church, 400 South Oakes Street

A Challenging Eagle Migration Count in the Big Belts

Looking west into the Big Belts

Counting the fall migration of raptors in the Big Belt Mountains can be exhilarating and challenging. The two hardy primary observers for the Golden Eagle Migration Survey (GEMS), Jeff Grayum and Hilary Turner, will describe the excitement of seeing a record 359 migrating Golden Eagles in one day, as well as the challenges they faced including 18 inches of snow on their first day at camp at 7,400 feet, and continuing bouts of wind, cold, and snow. Their talk will detail raptor migration in the Big Belt Mountains, with an emphasis on the most common species, the Golden Eagle. Since the survey is in its third year, they will discuss differences in the weather, birds, and their general experiences this year. Their presentation will include comparisons of bird numbers between years at this site, as well as other sites.

Jeff Grayum scanning for migrants

Jeff Grayum, returning for a second year as an observer for the GEMS project, was born in Costa Rica and raised in St Louis, MO. He attended Humboldt State University in California, where he earned his BS in biology. From January to July 2017 Jeff worked in Puerto Rico, searching for breeding Puerto Rican Sharp-shinned Hawks and monitoring their nests and reproductive success.

Hilary Turner layered for eagle watching!

Hilary Turner grew up in Helena, MT with an intense passion for natural history, especially birds. She has a degree in Wildlife Biology from the University of Montana. Hilary has a variety of work experience in field biology, including work as a raptor monitor at the Rim Rock Energy Facility in Montana. The summer of 2017 she spent as a nest researcher in the sage on the Jonah Natural Gas Field of western Wyoming.

Photos by Hilary Turner

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