[Tweeters] Winter raptor survey project needs

Jeff Fleischer raptorrunner97321 at yahoo.com
Mon Oct 25 09:18:33 PDT 2021

Hi Everyone,

Back on the 12th, I solicited help from interested folks that would like to engage this winter in some meaningful citizen science survey work, mainly, to conduct raptor surveys for the East Cascades Audubon Society’s Winter Raptor Survey Project on routes throughout Washington and a small section of NE Oregon and western Idaho. As a result of that posting, I was able to fill 13 of the routes but there are still some opportunities left to take on a route if you are interested :)

Specifically, here are the routes that are still available (length in miles listed), they all have been surveyed in the past and I am hoping that we can continue collecting data on them :

LaCenter 67 miles
Raymond - Holcomb 54
Moses Lake East 60
Othello East 73
Pullman SW 64
Steptoe - Saint John. 82
Moscow North (ID) 87
Moscow South (ID) 59
Hermiston West (OR) 45

In addition, there are new routes available that have been created for our continuing expansion efforts in Washington that have not been surveyed yet. They include:

Warden 67
White Swan West 52
White Swan East 73
Wapato 67
Toppenish West 79
Toppenish East 54
Sunnyside North 89
Sunnyside South 43
Prosser North 61
Prosser West 91
Grandview 32

For this project we ask our volunteers to commit to doing one survey each month for December, January and February. Surveys can be conducted on a day of your choosing to fit with your own life schedule each month, hopefully you also have flexibility to conduct them when weather is not too crazy! :). The months of November and March are also available but they are optional for this project, about 60% of all routes do get surveyed during November. You should have confidence in your raptor ID skills, especially for Red-tailed Hawks, American Kestrels, Northern Harriers, Bald Eagles, and Rough-legged Hawks which combined account for around 92% of all birds counted in this project. A pair of binoculars is a must to be able to see birds at a distance and if you happen to have a spotting scope those are very much encouraged. Some of these routes will necessitate 4WD or all wheel drive so that should be taken into consideration when you choose. You should also bring a desire to thoroughly cover and search all available good raptor habitat, rushing through a survey just to get it done will invariably lead to missed birds.

If this sounds like an activity that you would like to participate in this winter, you will be joining a group of 350 plus volunteers who last winter covered 452 routes covering more than 25,000 miles of transects each month throughout OR, ID, WA, and small parts of northern CA and UT and your assistance will be most welcome! :). Please let me know which route you wish to take on (you might include a second and third choice if your first choice has been assigned), these will be filled on a first come first served basis. I will provide you with the necessary information right away to get you prepared for what you will be doing. It is a very active citizen science project that gives you an opportunity to engage with this wonderful family of birds and offering your help in helping us all to better understand their life histories :). Hope to hear from some of you soon, thank you! :)

Jeff Fleischer
Project Coordinator
Winter Raptor Survey Project
East Cascades Audubon Society - Bend, OR (project sponsor)
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