The fourth annual Chelan Ridge Hawk Migration Festival will be celebrated this weekend with events from Pateros to Mazama.
The festival, sponsored by the Methow Valley Ranger District, North Central Washington Audubon Society, HawkWatch International and the North Cascades Basecamp, begins Saturday (Sept. 14) at Memorial Park in Pateros, where there will be related displays, activities and information from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. – all free.
For those who want to observe the raptors, the route to Chelan Ridge is on bumpy, unpaved U.S. Forest Service roads. A four-wheel drive or high clearance vehicle is recommended. The Forest Service’s Methow Valley Visitor Center in Winthrop and the Forest Service Visitor Center in Chelan offer brochures with directions to the site. Call the Methow Valley Visitor Center at 996-4000 for more information. For downloadable site brochures or driving directions, visit www.hawkwatch.org.
From the park in Pateros, free shuttles will leave every hour on the hour from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. for the Chelan Ridge site. Because shuttle space is limited, organizers recommend reserving a spot on the website www.hawkwatch.org/component/dtregister/. Children must be at least 11 years old to participate in the field trips.
Each trip takes four hours total – an hour to the site, two hours for exploration, and an hour for the return trip to Pateros.
Chelan Ridge is more than a mile high in elevation, is quite windy, and will be significantly colder than the valley floor in Pateros. Participants are asked to prepare for any kind of weather by bringing multiple layers of clothing, rain gear, windbreakers, sturdy hiking shoes, hats, and gloves, and to also bring snacks and water. Binoculars are recommended for the best possible viewing.
The observation site is about a mile hike from the shuttle drop-off/pick-up zone. Each group will have interpreters who will accompany participants and answer questions.
The festival coincides with the peak of southbound raptor migration at Chelan Ridge.
For more information, visit www.ncwaudubon.org/events.htm.
Later in the day, the North Cascades Basecamp on Lost River Road will host a soup dinner and presentation, “Birds on the Wing: the North Cascades as an Avian Highway,” by Andy Stepnewski. Dinner is at 5:30 p.m. and the presentation is at 7 p.m. Cost is $10. Stepnewski will talk about the southbound autumn migration of raptors and other birds along the North Cascade Mountains. For more information visit www.northcascadesbasecamp.com, call 996-2334 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Sunday, Andy and Ellen Stepnewski will lead a free raptor identification field trip to Harts Pass/Slate Peak, beginning at 8:30 a.m. at the Basecamp and concluding around 3 p.m. Registration is limited to 20 participants. To register, call 996-2334 or email info@NorthCascadesBasecamp.com.