Wednesday, July 31, 2002

Lookout Update 19-July to 31-July-2002

Hi folks,

Sorry for the lag in updates last week. I’ve been really busy and have only a small window of time each week for online duties. This email should get you all up to speed on the last two weeks of progress.

The weather out in Pozo has been sweltering, still, often hazy, and always buggy. My schedule, for the time being, has settled into a Friday through Weds. shift up on the mountain. I’m trying to remain flexible
and make sure I’m up there when the birds are moving. Speaking of moving birds, there have been several days worth of signals in the last two weeks. For more details on recent telemetry, check out the Hi Mountain
News page at So far, I have received signals for Ventana birds Or-208, Or-212, Or-199, B-171, B-170, B-164, B-165, Y-192, Y-194, and Y-190. On Friday July 27, I had my first sighting of 3 condors moving north along the southwestern edge of the La Panza Mtns! Frequent communication with the Hopper and Ventana field crews has mad the tracking much more interesting and fun. If the birds continue to move this summer, I am confident that the Hi Mountain Lookout will help us to better understand their flights, patterns of movement, and possibly roosting/foraging locations along the way.

Progress still continues to be made on the Lookout structure itself. We now have shutters and a front door and the final remodeling and installation stages will proceed through the next 2 weeks. We have a
work party happening at the Lookout tomorrow (Sat Aug. 3) which should be fun and productive. Other ongoing projects include Greg Frugoli’s design ideas for erosion control , revegetation, propagation of on site
natives and constant removal of the dreaded yellow star thistle. I think Greg has some good, common sense ideas. Now we just need to figure out how to keep the ORV’s out.

I have uploaded several photos to the Lookout photo archive at

Also, check out the collection of condor images made available to us from Nick Todd/USFWS. Most are photos shot at Hopper by Nick. Others were shot by Dave Clendenen/USFWS. You can see Nick’s photos at

I guess that’s all for now. Thanks for your interest and please come on up and visit me some time!
If you’re interested, volunteers will be meeting @ Pozo Station to carpool up the hill at 0830 sharp. Bring gloves, food, water, and sunscreen. You are of course welcome to spend the night.

Paul Andreano

Monday, July 29, 2002

29-July-2002 Field Notes

The morning began at 1000 with strong signals from Y-192 and Y-190 at appx86° NE. By 1010, I was also picking up a weak signal from Or-212 at 320° NW (in the vacinity of Cone Peak by my strained-eye estimation). By about 1100, I was getting very strong and consistent signals from Y-192,Y-190, and B-167, all of which were moving steadily north and seemingly close. Signal strengths and compass bearings indicated that these birds were moving along Garcia Ridge or the La Panza Mtns. By 1134 I began picking up faint signals for Or-208, Or- 212, and B-171, all in the same vacinity (appx 320°NW). At 1145 I SAW MY FIRST CONDORS FROM THE LOOKOUT! A group of three soaring birds appeared at the base of Black Mt., moving rapidly NW along the tip of the La Panzas, on the Pozo side. Though too far away to read tag numbers, I was able to positively identify B-167 by watching her movements and listening carefully to my Telonix. Needless to say, I was excited. Within in minutes, the birds were lost in the haze, north in the general direction of Creston. By 1440, I still had signals for Y-192, B-167, B-171,and Or-212 in the Cone Peak neighborhood. -PDA

Sunday, July 28, 2002

28-July-2002 Field Notes

Several more Ventana birds moving north today. First signals were at 1140 from B-171 (at appx 125° SE). By 1302, I was picking up B-164, who seemed hot on B-171’s tail. Signals for the two birds remained strong and constant throughout the day. My last signals of the day were at 1555, when I had B-171, B-164, and Or-212 at appx 320° NW. - Paul Andreano

Saturday, July 27, 2002

27-July-2002 Field Notes

Tracked Or-212 for most of the afternoon, moving north. First signals were around 1345 at 139° SE. By 1545, she was already at 320°NW. For about an hour (around 1600), I was getting strong signals for this bird near 290° NW. This is the western most area I have recorded signals from to date, and could be the east side of Cuesta Ridge. - Paul Andreano

Wednesday, July 17, 2002

Update from the Lookout 7-8 to 7-13-02

Greetings all,

Just a quick update on my activities up on the mountain from 7-8 to 7-13-02….

Last week was a very hot, buggy, yet productive week on Hi Mountain. Several ofthe big chores were tackled and I’ve often felt more like a laborer than a biologist. The Lookout now has windows and a new propane line. The existing propane tank was moved by crane to a new, safer location closer to the Lookout.
The downstairs has been power washed and half a dozen deer mice were erradicated.We have started the process of gutting/framing the interior of the upper level and the steel window shudders have been drilled and are ready to be hung. We received a generous donation (thanks Dick and Pat) of a pristine generator which has already seen 15 hours of use on this project.

Friday the 12th was by far the most exciting day for me yet, as it was the first time that I had strong and consistent signals for condors almost all day long. At 0935 I began picking up B-167 at about 320deg N.W. (right toward Cone peak). At 0940 I picked up B-164 in the same general area.My heart began to race. By
1200 I had signals for B-170, Or-199, and Y-194 as well. I continued to take signals every 30 min or so throughout the day, until I lost all 5 birds at about 1635. They had moved slowly but steadily SE for about 7 hours, and went out of range in the general direction of Hopper Mtn.NWR (appx.110deg S.E. of the
Lookout). Needless to say, it was encouraging to finally be tracking, though I strained for hours and never got a visual. I have yet to pick up any Hopper birds’ signals from Hi Mountain.

In my spare time I’ve been doing plenty of birding, bugging, botanizing, and being a bio nerd. There is a large bobcat the frequents the road just below the Lookout in the early evenings. I’ve seen 6 mule deer nearly every morning and the abundance of Sulfurs, Blues, Swallow-tail and Dogface butterflies is striking throughout the day. There are three Red-tailed Hawks and an adolescent golden eagle that frequent Hi Mt., and I have been surprised by the numbers of Black-chinned Sparrows and California Thrashers in the surrounding chaparral. I have briefly spotted a Sage Thrasher twice on the north slope of the Lookout.

Until the next update, hope everyone is having a great summer. Come on up and visit some time!
Paul Andreano

Friday, July 12, 2002

12-July-2002 Field Notes

Had signals for several birds today, from 0935 (at appx 320° NW) until 1617 (at appx 110° SE). Moderate to strong signals were recorded for B-167, B-164, B-170, Or-199, and Y-194 as they moved south from Ventana. - Paul Andreano