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GEMS - Radio Tower West Slope Raptor Count Fall 2017

Season Summary

Species Count
21
Total Count
2,797

Species Composition

Species composition changes over time depending on weather, seasons, and many other factors. This chart displays the composition over a time period you select.

Click on pie pieces to see more detail. If there are more than seven species, click on "Other" to see a breakdown of the rest.

Display

Many sites have a protocol that is designed to maximize finding particular species. If you select "Focus Species," only these species will be shown.

Date Selector

The control box below the pie chart lets you select a date period for the chart.

You can push the buttons "1d," "1w," or "1m" to zoom the graph to 1 day, 1 week, or 1 month.

The graph shows the overall volume seen on each day. You can drag the sliders on each side of this graph to adjust the start and end dates.

Species Composition
September 15th to November 10th

Drag the Sliders Below to Change the Dates Shown

Hourly Data

The time shown in the top row is the start of the one hour period.

Select Day

Choose a date to load the hourly table for that day. Only days that have data are shown.

Daily Counts

These charts show which species are most numerous at different parts of the season. Hover your mouse over a chart to see the number for a given day. The right column shows season totals and the left side shows the maximum for a single day. Each graph is scaled so that the single-day maximum is the highest point on the chart.

Sort By
  • Focus Species: Show the highest priority species at the top of the list.
  • Taxonomic Order: Sort the species by their scientific classification.
  • Alphabetic Order: Sort the species by their common name.
  • Abundance: Sort the species with the largest number counted at the top.

Daily Counts

Turkey Vulture
1
Golden Eagle
2024
Northern Harrier
12
Sharp-shinned Hawk
229
Cooper's Hawk
65
Northern Goshawk
60
Accipiter sp.
19
Bald Eagle
65
Show More Species

GEMS - Radio Tower West Slope Raptor Count Fall 2017

Golden Eagle Migration Survey (GEMS), now in its' third year, is an exciting collaborative, science-based effort to monitor fall migration of Golden Eagles and other raptors along the Big Belt Mountain range in southwestern Montana. This project is supported by Montana Audubon, Last Chance Audubon Society, US Forest Service and Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks. The GEMS site sits at an elevation of approximately 8100’ and provides the unique opportunity to see as many as 17 raptor species migrating at eye level or below! Prevailing southwest winds along the west slopes of the Rocky Mountains provide excellent lift for raptors, pushing them close to the mountain as they move southward. Observers have witnessed birds approaching within a few meters of the observation point, and the opportunity for photographing raptors in flight is excellent. Views of the valley floor, a backdrop of Canyon Ferry Reservoir and the Elkhorn Mountains, and migrating raptors makes this an experience not soon forgotten. Raptors are known to be key indicators of ecosystem health, and long-term migration counts are the best way to measure raptor population status and trend. The GEMS count, if conducted annually for a decade or more, will provide critical data to assess the health of Golden Eagles and other raptors inhabiting western North America and their use of the flyway along the Rocky Mountain Front.

Directions

FROM HELENA: Follow HWY 287 south to Townsend. At the stop sign in Townsend turn left on to HWY 12 (Broadway). Drive 2.4 miles to HWY 284 and turn left. Go 11.1 miles and turn right onto Duck Creek Road. Go 13.1 miles to the top of Duck Creek Pass. This will take 35 to 45 minutes to drive, and the road deteriorates the last three miles. At the pass, turn right - note the sign for the "Hidden Lake" trail-head - drive through a few trees to where it opens up, and park. From here, follow HIKING DIRECTIONS below. FROM BOZEMAN: Take HWY 287 north to Townsend. At the stop sign in Townsend turn right on to HWY 12 (Broadway). Drive 2.4 miles to HWY 284 and turn left. Go 11.1 miles and turn Right onto Duck Creek Road. Go 13.1 miles to the top of Duck Creek Pass. This will take 35 to 45 minutes to drive, and the road deteriorates the last three miles. At the pass, turn right - note the sign for the "Hidden Lake" trailhead - drive through a few trees to where it opens up, and park. From here, follow HIKING DIRECTIONS below. HIKING DIRECTIONS from Duck Creek Pass (Parking Area): From the parking area, hike south (up the hill) on a rough, high clearance, 4-wheel drive road, 1.4 miles (900 feet of vertical elevation gain) until you are almost to the communications tower. When you arrive at the top "meadow", and the communications tower is just ahead of you, you will see four telephone/power poles - without wires - leading the way to/from the tower. Make a right turn and walk down the meadow approximately 200 yards. You'll see a decoy great-horned owl on top of the pole in a dead tree. The observers (Jeff and Hilary) will be stationed just below the owl.

Golden Eagle Migration Survey (GEMS)

Golden Eagle Migration Survey (GEMS), now in its third year, is an exciting collaborative, science-based effort to monitor fall migration of Golden Eagles and other raptors along the Big Belt Mountain range in southwestern Montana.

About the Data

All data displayed on this site are preliminary and have not yet undergone quality control. Written permission is required to use the data.

Golden Eagle Migration Survey (GEMS)

. This project is supported by Montana Audubon, Last Chance Audubon Society, US Forest Service and Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks