The 2017/2018 Montezuma Winter Raptor Survey season will begin on November
15, approximately two weeks  away. The entire season runs from November 15
through March 28. The largest portion of the Raptor migrations  will have
been completed, and it will be time to learn what species have chosen to
spend the winter at the 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  the time
devoted to helping with the surveys is always appreciated. There are some
additional benefits among which are 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. Surveyors 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.

Our protocol will be essentially the same as that 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. We have 24 sites
available for survey, 21 we will attempt to survey each week, and 3 that
will be surveyed approximately once a month. There will be a few site
changes from last 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. 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 experiences.

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

Wednesday, Nov. 22, meet at 3:20 pm

Wednesday, Nov. 29, meet at 3:20 pm

Wednesday, Dec. 6, meet at 3:20 pm

Wednesday, Dec. 13, meet at 3:20 pm

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

Wednesday, Dec. 27, meet at 3:25 pm

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 in mid-January. Those
interested in helping with the surveys should contact me,  David
Marsh, at *
<> *

 and for detailed information about the surveys and how to participate.


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