Hitch number ﬁve contributed many good memories to this project. First and foremost was the beauty we all encountered throughout the eight days in the ﬁeld. On ﬁeld day number two Leah and I came back from pulling a pole, sat down in the truck bed to collect our thoughts, and witnessed something phenomenal. Two hummingbirds’ ﬂew separately to the back of the truck, one with a pink stomach, and stared at us for a good ﬁve seconds before ﬂying away. To say the least, this event made our day.
On top of the beautiful animals including donkeys and ﬁve wild horses, the ﬁrst camp site we chose was the most spectacular we’ve seen. There was rock coverage on three sides, as well as a stunning view from on top of the biggest rock formation. It has been the little things on hitches that prove to be the most uplifting. We covered many acres, 75,000 on the ﬁrst day, in hopes of ﬁnding what we often call “white pearls.” These pearls or poles need to come out. After seeing the devastation they can cause to birds it is helpful to think of the beauty we come across in order to continue our conservation work.
The Dead Bird Squad is up to any challenge the desert might throw our way. There were a couple of days where poles were pulled in bunches. In total we pulled 136 poles, and found 201 unfortunate birds. The bird lives that we are potentially saving by pulling these poles should never be understated. With our heart and drive, the white pearls will continue to fall, bird lives will be saved, and a team will grow even further.
Written by Matt Hausserman