Bill (aka Wilbur) Grant was a dependable and humorous hawkwatcher who identified and counted hawks for many years at the Harvey's Knob Hawkwatch, a member of the Hawk Migration Association of North America. For many years, he was as dependable as the migration he monitored. He always arrived very early (before the hawks) and fought off the occasional boredom with many tools he used to monitor the day which included a weather station, a weather radio, a scanner and even a refrigerator. He monitored passing car tags as well as passing hawks. He welcomed all who stopped by his watch and always had a joke to share. Groups who wanted a talk on the migration were always encouraged to go up on Wednesdays - his day - and his lectures were always well received and appreciated. His reports were thorough and detailed. His last report at the end of November was the last report of the year and reflects his attention to detail and his kind spirit:
There are many years of these reports and you can access them through the Harvey's Knob Hawk Migration database at this address:
The report displayed above is the last daily report for the year. If you click on the linked date 7 days prior to this report, you will find his previous report and so on. You then have to click the link on the previous month, and then the previous year, etc. as you progress.
At this link, you will find a fine story about Bill from the Salem-Times Register concerning the very moving memorial service:
And here, the obituary:
I wonder how many people played with Patsy Cline and Liberace!
There was a lot I did not know about Bill. I knew he was a fine hawkwatcher, a well respected birder, a very good lecturer, but I missed Sonny and Cher!
Here is Bill having taught a class to some school children and now, of course, they are waiting for the hawks to arrive:
He and his car are in his usual spot. The date was 9/18/08.
Here is Bill being interviewed by a Channel 7 newsman in October, 2007:
It has been very difficult preparing for this year's watch because all scheduling for many years has revolved around Wednesdays.
We dedicate this season to Bill Grant, Keeper of the Watch, because of his commitment to hawkwatching, to this hawkwatch site on the Blue Ridge Parkway, to teaching, to learning, to being positive and to enjoying life.