I just received this from Jeff Fleischer (firstname.lastname@example.org) of IBLE (Idaho Birders Linked Electronically) and thought some of you may want to participate in this. You can look at their website at IBLE for more information. This is also a good resource for birding supplies. Have fun and Keep Looking Up! You can email Jeff also if you want more information. His email address is listed below.
On a few occasions the past few weeks, I have advertised the start up of a new winter raptor survey project in Idaho between Boise and the Oregon line. This is an expansion of a project entering its 8th winter here in Oregon and sponsored by the East Cascades Audubon Society located in Bend, OR. At the end of last winter, we had 149 routes in place all around Oregon and had 110 volunteers doing the surveys.
As project coordinator, I would like to invite any interested persons to become part of this project this winter in Idaho! The primary survey season is during the months of December, January, and February. About half the routes in Oregon are also covered during November and March so that option will be offered on the Idaho routes as well. Volunteers wishing to participate will need to commit to a minimum of one survey each of the three primary months, be willing to spend anywhere from 3 to 7 hours driving the survey routes depending on the route size, and be proficient in identifying the various species of birds of prey likely to be present in this portion of the state. Volunteers will need to use binoculars while conducting these surveys, with spotting scopes being an added plus but not required. Routes still available, with their corresponding miles, include:
Emmett South 55 miles
Homedale Southeast 54 miles
Homedale Southwest 32 miles
Homedale West 39 miles
Lake Lowell South 79 miles
Nampa 60 miles
New Plymouth – Fruitland 80 miles
Notus 77 miles
Payette 61 miles
Roswell 77 miles
Weiser West 31 miles
In addition to these Idaho routes, we also have an established route near Vale, OR for those of you interested in that area.
If this project sounds like something that you would like to participate in, I would be happy to have your help! All you would need to do is contact me via email and let me know which of the above routes you would be interested in covering and I will set you up for the winters work with the necessary map and forms. The sooner you contact me, the better the chance of getting the particular route that you are interested in. I would also be happy to prepare a route for anyone wishing to do surveys in other parts of Idaho as well.
As an idea of what you might expect on these routes, the first survey for the route in the Caldwell-Wilder area was completed this past weekend and it yielded 37 Red-tailed Hawks, 77 American Kestrels, and 6 Northern Harriers for 70 miles covered. This equates to an average of 1.7 birds per mile. Here in Oregon over the last 7 winters, only 61 of the 149 routes in the project have had surveys averaging more than 1.5 birds per mile so you can see that we already have some special data collected in this new Idaho project. I am hoping that this sort of average will be the norm for these Idaho routes so your survey efforts will be rewarded with some great raptor viewing this winter!
As part of this project, my objective is to keep all of you informed of what is being seen this winter so stay tuned for periodic reports, should be interesting! Again, if you wish to participate, just send me an email letting me know which route you wish to cover and I will get you up to speed right away. This is a great way to spend the winter months viewing your favorite birds and the data that you help collect will help all of us get an idea of what raptor species winter in your state, where they can be found, and in what kinds of numbers. Combined with what we find in Oregon, collectively we will have a better regional view of wintering birds of prey in these two states. Thank you,
Jeff Fleischer, Email
Winter Raptor Survey Project
East Cascades Audubon Society – Bend, OR