Why you should be a Raptor Monitor: more are needed & always appreciated.

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Why you should be a Raptor Monitor: more are needed & always appreciated.

Post by davidh » Sat Oct 29, 2022 12:57 am


Why you should be a Raptor Monitor:
More are needed & always appreciated.

Raptors are one of the most easily observed, exciting and important indicator species telling us how well we are doing preserving our local ecosystems. But we need volunteer Monitors to report on this ‘wellness’ or lack thereof. This is the one important way you can help monitor climate change – and have fun doing it.

Objective: Some key species, but all nesting raptors have their nests protected. By getting these nests recorded this is the first step in having them Protected under the Wildlife Act. Key species like bald eagles, ospreys, spotted owls and great blue herons get special protection of their nest and perch trees all year long. BUT, without them being recorded there is no proof they exist. Nor is there a reference Data Base for administrators, developers or the concerned public - you and I, to go to. From observing a likely violation of nature, people can then use the Data Base to confirm the place of your concerned violation. From the complaint can then flow a Mitigation Plan to reduce the observed or potential disturbances.

We depend upon our keen Raptor Nest Monitors to find these nests and give periodic reports on them. Getting the nest recorded is the beginning of its protection. Please help. It is also rewarding fun. Most British Columbians have known for decades, our Provincial motto has been: “We live in Super, Natural British Columbia.” It is these eagles, falcons, herons, orcas, waterfowl and songbirds that make us “super & natural”! Also, the CRA accepts our HWF statement you did x number of kilometers of driving to census them - you just have to give us a brief report to qualify for this annual Income Tax credit. This can easily get you a few thousand dollars back for helping nature.

The Hancock Wildlife Foundation has been collecting nest locations in some areas for over 30 years. It is these nests, if disturbed by developers or the public, that our Fish & Wildlife Branch - FLNRO – get to stop the disturbance and seek a Mitigation Plan to reduce this disturbance. What an incredible opportunity, for we the concerned, to simply record of these nests existence and initiate this protection. Additionally, the Hancock Wildlife Foundation has specialized in moving bald eagle nests, so disturbances do not prevent the eagles from nesting in their claimed territories. See how we build eagle, hawk or osprey nests. Almost all our CAM sites are in nests we have built. We have then installed CAMS at the time of the rebuild – a wonderful educational outreach. See our Live CAMS. David and Myles are presently writing a book on “How, When and Where to Build Bald Eagle Nests.” Much more on this to come.

All a Nest Monitor has to do is report on the existence of the nest, give its address and an estimate of its gps, and then make periodic assessments of how that year’s breeding season is progressing. Of course, following the lives of these eagles from below the nest and perhaps simultaneously on our Web CAMS is where the drama, the excitement and rewards come. Did the territory again get occupied this year, did the eagles likely sit on eggs, hatch young, and finally fledge chicks? We hope for a minimum of 5 visits during the nesting season. Twenty-five is better! – more rewarding to the Monitors and gives a more accurate picture of life in an eagles nest.

If you are interested and either know of a nest or nests or wish to know of some in your area that you could Monitor, please drop me a line. While we focus on British Columbia nests, we assist other nest watchers around the continent. Our simple observation procedures are universally beneficial.

We will set you up with the system for recording nests and notes or give you access to a Google Cloud file showing all your nests.

David Hancock
[email protected]

Note: In many regions of BC there are local Naturalist clubs that have bird watching, flower or mushroom groups or hiking groups and they often have members who wish to help. If you don’t know of this group, just ask the local library for their contact number, or write to BC Nature: [email protected] for your local club address.

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