Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
HOPPER MOUNTAINNWR: Volunteers Build New Condor Observation Blind
California-Nevada Offices , April 1, 2010
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Volunteers and Service employees begin constructing the new blind at Hopper Mountain NWR. (photo: USFWS)
Volunteers and Service employees begin constructing the new blind at Hopper Mountain NWR. (photo: USFWS) - Photo Credit: n/a
The finished blind, ready for condor viewing. (photo: USFWS)
The finished blind, ready for condor viewing. (photo: USFWS) - Photo Credit: n/a

By Lisa Cox, Hopper Mountain NWR

Thanks to refuge volunteers, biologists who observe condor feeding behavior at Hopper Mountain National Wildlife Refuge will now be able to do so from a sturdy blind that can withstand adverse weather and the occasional wild fire like never before.

Long time refuge volunteer and president of the Friends of the California Condors Wild and Free Vince Gerwe, headed the project.  He brought along other refuge volunteers and refuge Friends members to help in the construction.  Terrell Cryer (draftsman) and Dennis Huhn (carpenter) played key roles in the building process.  Intern Andria Kroner and refuge employees Dan Tappe, Blake Massey, Geoffrey Grisdale and Lisa Cox, volunteered their days off to the project, providing  necessary field equipment, manpower and supervision.  The project volunteers and employees ensured much needed features were installed, including air vents, small viewing slots on all sides, a shelf-like desk, scope anchors, and even a slightly pitched roof to combat wet weather.


Work schedules and adverse weather extended the construction time.  Concrete was poured in January, the base floor was built in February, and walls and roof were constructed in March. The project was completed in April.   The sturdy, all weather blind also features one-way glass windows biologists will use to watch incoming condors that visit the site to feed.  The blind will mainly be used to observe feeding and other social behaviors.


The blind was made possible through the enduring efforts of Hopper Mountain volunteers and the refuge Friends group. The Friends group has continually supported and volunteered for the refuge over two years, with some of the volunteers approaching 7 years of continued support.



Contact Info: Michael Woodbridge, 916-978-4445, michael_woodbridge@fws.gov
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