Rockfish Gap Hawkwatchers 2020 Raptorthon
Support Rockfish Gap Hawkwatchers
Thursday May 7, 2020
This year, on May 7, the Rockfish Gap Hawkwatchers team (Vic Laubach, Gabriel Mapel, Baxter Beamer and Ezra Staengl) will be conducting our 8th annual Raptorthon to have fun and raise money to support our local Rockfish Gap Hawk Watch and HMANA’s work for raptor conservation, migration, and hawk watching throughout North America. Half of the proceeds we raise will go to HMANA and half will go to our hawk watch. This is our only fund-raising event of the year.
Founded in 1976, Rockfish Gap Hawk Watch is located in Afton, VA in the Blue Ridge Mountains at an elevation of 2,100 ft. Each of our team members are volunteer counters at Rockfish Gap, with Ezra being our youngest counter at age 16. Our hawk watch operates daily from mid-August through November, during which time we typically count over 26,000 raptors each season.
This year, due to the coronavirus, instead of birding together our team members will be birding solo. Each of us will cover a different county in Virginia near Rockfish Gap Hawk Watch; with Ezra covering Nelson County (474 sq mi), Baxter covering Albemarle County (726 sq mi), Gabriel covering Augusta County (971 sq mi), and Vic covering Highland County (416 sq mi). This will actually be quite interesting with a little internal competition! Each of us will have from sunrise to sunset to find as many different bird species as we can within our counties, with particular attention to raptors. At the end of the day we’ll tally our results for both individual as well as total species numbers. It’ll surely be fun! Afterward we’ll send out a report of our Raptorthon adventure to all our sponsors!
Please consider sponsoring our team’s efforts. We’re very grateful for those that have supported us in past years and hope you can do so again this year. We’d greatly appreciate your help! Wish us luck!