All-night field excursions are just part of the job for Teton Raptor Center senior avian ecologist Bryan Bedrosian. To conduct research, he spends countless hours in the backcountry and skis long distances tracking birds. He often faces difficult travel conditions and avalanche risks.
“One night I spent the entire night out trying to capture a great gray owl,” he says. “But I believe the more challenging the work, the more rewarding it is.”
Bedrosian is a nationwide leader in raptor research, including tracking, transmitter attachment, and trapping. In 2015, he began working at Teton Raptor Center to advance the nonprofit’s research program. He appreciates the organization’s fervor for education, rehabilitation, and research.
“All of our studies are field-based at Teton Raptor Center,” Bedrosian says. “We observe data real-time.” His study area runs from Teton Village to Snake River Canyon and includes some parts of Grand Teton National Park.
“At Teton Raptor Center, we aim to preserve wild raptors and keep them healthy in the valley’s intact ecosystem,” he says. “I got raptor fever in college and decided to make learning about them my career.”
Bedrosian appreciates the ample innovation time the center affords him. “Bryan is both a leader and an innovator,” says Amy Brennan McCarthy, executive director of the organization. “His mind is constantly ‘on’ with a focus on bringing better tools, techniques, and technologies to allow us to more thoroughly understand the life cycles, movements, and roles that raptors play in a healthy ecosystem.”
A Chicago native, Bedrosian started working at Teton Science Schools in 2001 and began his innovation efforts immediately. Concerned about the steel projectiles deployed by traditional net launchers that were used to catch predatory birds like ravens and eagles for research projects, Bedrosian developed a more efficient and safer tool for trapping and tracking the birds.
This invention inspired Bedrosian’s side company, “Trapping Innovations, LLC,” in 2009. The company sells net launchers to biologists who work with agencies, universities, consulting firms, and nonprofits.
He later designed a transmitter package for wildlife computers with Doug Bonham through a National Science Foundation grant. The system is now used in research with sage grouse, great gray owls, and eagles, and is popular because it can lower data acquisition costs.
This year, he is releasing a new innovation called SoundScout, a recorder strapped to a tree that captures bird voices 24 hours a day. The sound frequency is analyzed on a spectrogram. “You can identify individual birds by their vocal patterns,” Bedrosian says.
Known for his research, innovation, and passion for wildlife, Teton Raptor Center is excited to have Bedrosian leading local research efforts.
“Bryan is a star in the world of raptor research,” McCarthy says. “His talent, creativity, and passion are advancing raptor conservation in Jackson Hole and beyond.”