The 2016/2017 Montezuma Winter Raptor Survey season will begin on November
16, only one month away. Raptor migrations for the most part will be
completed, and it will be time to learn what species have chosen to spend
the winter at the Greater Montezuma Wetlands Complex. Our weekly surveys
provide important information that will assist the Refuge and the DEC in
managing habitat to attract and hold raptors. Accurate data collection is
always our highest priority. Surveyor's work is important, and I assure you
that the time devoted to helping with the surveys will be appreciated. There
are some additional benefits among which include an opportunity to sharpen
raptor ID skills, enjoy watching raptors conduct their deadly serious
efforts in search of food under difficult climate conditions, and,
experience the solitude of Montezuma in the winter. You will visit parts of
Montezuma that are normally closed to the public, and learn more about what
attracts raptors to the complex in the winter season.


We will follow essentially the same protocol used in the past several
seasons. Surveys will be conducted weekly on Wednesdays, beginning one half
hour before sunset and ending one half hour after sunset. Last year we had a
total of 20 survey sites to staff and I would expect about the same again
this year. Each site will be staffed with at least one veteran surveyor who
is able to make quick and often difficult identification of the raptors who
frequent our area. If you are an inexperienced surveyor, or even new to
birding, you are welcome to attend and you will be assigned to accompany a
veteran surveyor. The more eyes we have at each site the greater our chances
of spotting raptors. Attached is some explanatory information.  The first
attachment provides background information about the surveys and the survey
protocol. The second attachment contains some important housekeeping items
that will help you to understand how to get started. We meet each week in
the Refuge Offices across from the Visitor's Center at the times listed
below. There you will receive a briefing, obtain assignments, and pick up
materials for the survey. Surveyors will return to the office after
completion of the survey to turn in data and exchange information about


Wednesday, Nov. 16, meet at 3:15 pm 

Wednesday, Nov. 23, meet at 3:20 pm

Wednesday, Nov. 30, meet at 3:20 pm

Wednesday, Dec. 7, meet at 3:20 pm

Wednesday, Dec. 14, meet at 3:20 pm

Wednesday, Dec. 21, meet at 3:20 pm

Wednesday, Dec. 28, meet at 3:25 pm


The survey season runs through March. Raptor Survey dates (always Wednesday)
and meeting times for January, February, and March, will be announced later,
including information about the Mid-Winter Bald Eagle Survey to be held the
morning of January 13, 2017. 

You are certain to enjoy a number of very nice additions and enhancements
made at the Refuge and WMA. If you are interested in participating in any of
the raptor surveys and being added to the surveyor address list to receive
weekly reports of the survey results, contact me, David Marsh, at





Cayugabirds-L List Info:


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Attachment: 2016-2017 RAPTOR SURVEY BACKGROUND & PROTOCOL.docx
Description: MS-Word 2007 document

Description: MS-Word 2007 document

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