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Raptor Identification-counting Course

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Raptor Identification-counting Course

Organizer: Pronatura Veracruz
Location: Xalapa Veracruz, Mexico
Last Date to Apply: 17 Mar 2017 
Open until filled


Positions still available to attend the Raptor Identification and counting course from March 20th to March 30th, 2017.


The Pronatura Veracruz River of Raptors program witnesses the greatest 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 count!


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, it brings the opportunity to learn how 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 the way that the counters from the Veracruz River of Raptors count during the fall.
This raptor counting-identification course is perfect for those that want to join a raptor migration count site or improve their raptor identifications skills; it will be held during the peak of the spring migration March 20 to March 30, 2017, where thousands of raptor coming from their wintering grounds, stream the sky of central Veracruz where the training course is set up.


The Training course will be held in the center of Veracruz Mexico, (state that contains more than 700 bird´s species) in the city of Xalapa in the Parque Natura. At this site, the flight is around 200 000 raptors during spring, and the course dates are selected in the middle of the peak flight of the spring migration. Participants will view a wide diversity of migratory raptors, plus the local biodiversity of the place. More than 20 raptor species will be seen and many great tropical birds, like Masked Tityra, White-collared Seedeater, White-bellied Wren, Montezuma Oropendola, Blue-crowned Euphonia, endemics as the Mexican Sheartail and others. Situated near the mountains and not too far from the coast, you will be immersed in the beauty rural Mexico and be able to visit many places depending on your interest. Traveling in central Veracruz is safe and you will enjoy seeing the rural culture of the region and enjoy a diverse gastronomy during your time here.


The training course will be taught by Kashmir Wolf, (official counter and monitoring coordinator of the Veracruz River of Raptors project).
The training will have discussion hours and field practice hours, discussion will talk about different issues and main tasks like the Veracruz River of Raptors program methods and goals, raptor flight strategies, behavior of the raptors, etc. Field practice hours we will be spent in the observation tower learning all what you need to ID and count migratory raptors by your own.
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 watch sites 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.


FEE: $1,800 USD (Include lodging, food and local transportation and field trips)
FEE: $ 800 USD (without housing, food and transportation and no field trips included)
All course materials are included.


Don´t miss this opportunity and help raptor conservation!


Visit www.pronaturaveracruz.org for details or contact Kashmir Wolf to rioderapaces@pronaturaveracruz.org

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