The Leica Televid spotting scope at the South Lookout
Link to Leica Birding post on the new partnership
Two of the oldest and most prestigious names in birding have teamed up to promote raptor conservation and the joys of hawk watching when this week Hawk Mountain Sanctuary in Kempton, Pa, announced Leica Sport Optics will be the Sanctuary’s official optics outfitter.
“Both Leica and Hawk Mountain epitomize quality, endurance and tradition, and are well-respected by the most discriminating birders in the world. It’s a natural fit,” explains Sanctuary president Jerry Regan.
As the Official Optics Outfitter of the world’s oldest and largest organization dedicated to raptor conservation, Leica has already provided eight pairs of its premier Trinovid binoculars for interns and naturalists stationed at the Sanctuary’s North Lookout, as well as two Televid spotting scopes. The optics are used to conduct the annual raptor count that takes place each August 15 through December 15. Data from the count represents the longest and most continuous record of raptor populations in the world.
Year-round Hawk Mountain Sanctuary is open to the public as an eco-tourism destination, and reaches an average 70,000 visitors each year, the bulk of which arrive during the autumn migration season. During the daily count, identification experts spot and record the number and type of species that pass overhead, while visitors, school groups and newcomers arrive to watch, learn and take in the sweeping views of the mountain and the migration.
“Leica offers the finest optics for those discerning birders who want the very best views. And it doesn’t get more discerning than the hawk watchers who visit the North Lookout,” laughs Mary Linkevich, the Sanctuary’s director of communications.
“Having Leica on our side allows Hawk Mountain to invest even more in our education programs for first-timers. The ability to divert resources that otherwise would be used to purchase and replace binoculars and scopes will make an enormous difference,” she adds.
About the binoculars
“Birders have repeatedly and consistently affirmed that our products perform as promised, since the release of our first binoculars back in 1906," says Jeff Bouton of Leica Sport Optics.
"The counters and interns at North America's most prestigious hawk watch work hard, and hopefully with brand new, premium optics in hand, we at Leica can play a small part in making their jobs a tiny bit easier and hopefully more enjoyable as well."
And he’s right. Monitoring raptor migrants is perhaps the most demanding type of birding. While visitors at Hawk Mountain may choose to ignore distant specs in the sky, counters must attempt to identify every migrant whether point blank or barely visible. Counters are challenged by scanning bright blue sky for 8 to 10 hours a day, and must attempt to discern structure and markings on a distant raptor.
Having a time-tested, premium optic with the highest-quality glass, not only ensures superior resolution of minute details, but it also reduces the inherent eye strain and fatigue born from long hours of intense focus.
Hawk Mountain Sanctuary is the world’s first refuge for birds of prey and an international center for raptor conservation. Its 2,500-acre sanctuary is open to the public year-round, and its North Lookout is one of the most recognized spots to observe the annual southbound migration of hawks, eagles and falcons. To learn more about Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, please visit www.hawkmountain.org or call 610-756-6961. To learn more about Leica Sport Optics, please visit www.leica-sportoptics.com.