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Raptor Identification-Counting Course

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The Pronatura Veracruz River of Raptors program witnesses the greatest raptor migration spectacle on Earth. Every fall, in central Veracruz Mexico, an average of four and a half million raptors from over 25 species have been counted in Pronatura´s monitoring stations in their southward migratory journey! On a good day, over 100,000 migratory raptors and vultures can cover the skies; but, during a Big Day, over 500,000 have been counted! 


During the spring migration we have the opportunity to see the migration northward, although, the numbers are not comparable with the numbers in the Fall, bringing the opportunity to learn to identify the following Raptors (Osprey, Swainson´s Hawk, Broad-winged Hawk, Ret-tailed Hawk, Zone-Tailed Hawk, Gray Hawk, Roadside Hawk, Short-tailed Hawk, Cooper´s Hawk, Sharp-shined Hawk, Common-black Hawk, Black-collared Hawk, Peregrine Falcon, American Kestrel, Laughing Falcon, Bat Falcon, Aplomado Falcon, Crested Caracara, Northern Harrier, Hook-billed Kite, Mississippi Kite, Swallow-tailed Kite, Snail Kite, Turkey Vulture and Black Vulture). The observation location encounters the same species and the same flight behavior as in the fall, so participants will be able to gradually get the skill to count and identify a wide variety of raptors and also learn to estimate large flocks of raptors (some lines can have 10 thousand raptors and cross the sky in less than 10 minutes) similar to the way that the Veracruz River of Raptors counters count each fall. 


This raptor counting-identification course is perfect for those that want to join a raptor migration count site or improve their raptor identifications skill; it will be held during the peak of the spring migration March 19th to April 7th when thousands of raptor coming from their wintering grounds stream across the sky of central Veracruz. After this training course we expect you to be able to count and identify raptor species on your own, leave with an understanding of the patterns of raptor migration. You will be potentially certified by the Veracruz River of Raptors team to be hired in the Fall migration as a counter or assistant at the Veracruz River of Raptors or other watchsites in Central or North America, an experience that you can’t miss in your life. Some friendly evaluations are expected during the course to help participants improve. 


The course will be taught by expert counters of the Veracruz River of Raptors project (counters that have seen more than 20 million raptors in their lives) consists of practice and theory hours and day offs where we will take you to go birding around and meet Mexican birds like Laughing Falcon, Motmots, Parrots, Toucans, Oropendolas, native warblers like Painted Redstart or Red Warbler, delicious gastronomy and culture. 


The fee for this course is $1,400 USD housing and food is provided ($1200 USD without food and housing), ask for the program and apply! This position is limited to 10 people only!

Contact ELISA PERESBARBOSA (EM: rioderapaces@pronaturaveracruz.org), Director of Pronatura Veracruz, (PH: +52 228 1865548) to receive all information about this training course, we will accept people speaking English or Spanish. Visit http://www.pronaturaveracruz.org and down load the registration. follow this link to get the registration form directly: http://www.pronaturaveracruz.org/PDFs/Raptor_identification_counting_course.pdf. In subject line please write: Raptor Identification-Counting course 2015 when sending or asking information.

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