Research and Mount Peter Data

from the 2018 Fyke Nature Association Winter Newsletter

By Judy Cinquina

Eagles and Wind Energy: Our fall Bald and Golden Eagle counts between 1990 and 2014 were used by researchers to determine the best survey protocols for migrating eagle detection at prospective wind energy sites. Wind energy development, especially on ridge tops, is increasing in the United States and Canada and may affect Bald and Golden Eagle populations through direct mortality. Mount Peter was one of 22 ridge-top raptor migration monitoring sites in the Pacific, Rocky Mountain, Intermountain, and Appalachian flyways included in this research. Eric Chabot, the researcher planned to submit the results of the research to the Journal of Wildlife Management.

Raptor Migration Forecasts: Benjamin Van Doren is a PhD student at the University at Oxford in the UK is studying bird migration. In collaboration with colleagues at Cornell, he's been working on forecasting nocturnal bird migration and understanding its drivers. This spring, they posted live continental migration forecasts on, which were viewed hundreds of thousands of times.

Benjamin is interested in trying to apply their methods to diurnal hawk migration as well. For this, he would pair observations from North American count sites with concurrent weather observations to learn associations between atmospheric conditions and the intensity of hawk migration.

Training Models to Analyze Count Data and Climatic Variables: Ruth Delgado from the National Autonomous University of Mexico is developing a project for a data science specialization that applies newly developed machine learning analysis, specifically Artificial Neural Networks on ecological data. She's hoping to improve accuracy on species abundance predictions and will be using bird count data and climatic variables to analyze and train models. The model performance and prediction ability depends on the amount of data used to train the model, therefore it is important to use large databases. Mount Peter is one of 19 watch sites that will contribute data to this project.

Red-shouldered Hawk Migration Trends: A Hawk Mountain Sanctuary Science Trainee is using our data to examine Red-shouldered migration in the eastern flyway. Fifteen watch sites have been selected with variable topography—ridges, coasts, plains, foothills—to examine weather factors that produce larger flights.