When Gail Lemiec was trained as a Golden-winged Warbler volunteer in April 2016, she took her stewardship a step further. As Education Specialist at Highlands Nature Center at the Highlands Biological Station, she took two students “under her wing” to focus their semester research on Golden-wings in Graham, Macon and Jackson Counties.
Lauren and Tasmia concentrated their studies on mapping potential habitat for the warblers. Continuing their habitat modeling research, Lauren plans to ground-truth 60 sites this spring as a part of her honors thesis. Many of these sites are located on private lands and will coincide with Audubon NC’s recent outreach efforts.
We are thankful for Mark Hopey with Southern Appalachian Raptor Research and Dr. Scott Pearson from Mars Hill University, for providing a day of hands-on population survey experience for these students. At the survey station, we were fortunate enough to meet Eric Masterson. His project aptly named “A Kettle of One,” Eric is cycling the migratory route of a Broad-winged Hawk tagged at Hawk Mountain. From New Hampshire to South America, they “expect to cross five time zones, 40 degrees of latitude and 5,000 miles.” Wonder who will get there first?
As we know, birders come together in many wonderful ways. Keep your eye out for these budding young scientists as they continue working for the birds we love!