Volunteer Counters Needed!
You now have the opportunity to make a
substantial, enduring contribution to hawk migration studies - and
hawk conservation. For thirty years, the Eastern Massachusetts Hawk
Watch has been studying and monitoring hawk migration through
eastern Massachusetts. As part of our coverage, we’ve established
two major long-term monitoring sites at Wachusett Mountain in
Princeton and Mt Watatic in Asburnham. We’ve tallied over 330,000
migrating hawks at Wachusett (30 years), and over 150,000 at Watatic
(19 years ). Over time, dozens of individuals have contributed to
the watch, with 3663 hours of observation at Wachusett alone! Both
sites are internationally recognized in Raptor Watch, a Global
Directory of Raptor Migration Sites, and Wachusett is one of the
longest-covered sites in the world.
Over the years, people like Paul
Roberts, Bart Kamp, Ken Poole, Thom McCullough, Petti Staub, and
Jane Stein have served as primary counters covering several weeks or
more each fall. Ken, Thom, Petti and Jane have moved over recent
years. This year, and looking forward , we do not have a volunteer
who can cover Wachusett for 20 to 30+ days each fall. Without the
efforts of 10-15 volunteers, that count will no longer be conducted.
To continue this significant data base, we need your help.
This year we need ten people to
volunteer to cover two or more days as site leader at Wachusett.,
primarily throughout September, but under appropriate conditions in
October and November as well, if possible. We also need volunteers
to count at Mt. Watatic, but the first coverage priority is
Wachusett in September, where we have 30 years of cumulated data.
On many days there are experienced
observers on Wachusett who personally do not want to officially
count and report, but who are knowledgeable and willing to help you
spot and count hawks and other migrants.
The task is rather simple.
- Drive to the summit of Wachusett
- From approximately 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. count all migrant hawks
and other identifiable migrants moving past the mountain. Daily
totals have ranged from 0 - 20,000, so anything is possible.
- Count birds by species by hour on a field form.
- Tally your hourly totals of species and the species totals for
- Report your daily totals to Paul Roberts by email or phone. ,
who will post it on several web sites that night.
- Know that you have contributed to one of the oldest data bases
on hawk migration trends in the east.
- Repeat all of the above at least once.
- Attend a special EMHW program late this fall to recognize
everyone who has contributed to the watch, and see a special
presentation on hawks and hawk migration.
Whether you are retired, unemployed,
able to take several vacation days, or commit a weekend or two, we
need your help.
If you don’t think you have enough
experience, you are wrong. Everyone has been a beginner. There is no
better way to learn than in the field, A number of major sites
throughout North America, like Holiday Beach,. rely on volunteer
observers to conduct their counts. If you think you could use some
more preparation, or a refresher, EMHW is offering a special evening
program on hawk identification , counting, and reporting. (Anyone
can attend this special program, as long as they commit to covering
Wachusett or Watatic for at least two dates this fall.) We’ll also
have field trip real-time counting primer for any volunteers
Volunteer for two dates or more. Be part
of a long-term project. Make a difference.
To select your dates for coverage and
obtain complete information on the hawk identification/migration
seminar, or for more information on the coverage, contact:
781-483-4263. after 8 p.m.