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  • Fall Migration Hawk Counter - Hitchcock Nature Center

    • Employer: Pottawattamie County
      Location: Hitchcock Nature Center, Honey Creek, IA
      Country: United States
      Last Date to Apply: 08/11/2023
      Open Until Filled: No

    Up to $12/hr ($1,824/month)  and free lodging/furnished house is provided on-site.

    Apply here: https://www.pottcounty-ia.gov/jobs/hawkwatch_counter_compiler_and_interpreter/3528756/ or email jeff.franco@pottcounty-ia.gov with inquiries or applications.

    Learn more by watching this video:


    PURPOSE OF POSITION:   Responsible for identifying and counting migrating raptors, preparing reports, and assisting with bird-related environmental education at the Hitchcock Nature Center. This position will also have the opportunity to assist with banding saw-whet owls and diurnal raptors at the park.

    This is a temporary, non-exempt position.  Program operates from September 1 through December 13.


    Identify and count migrating raptors. 

    Document bird migration counts, patterns, etc. and prepare accurate reports of activities.

    Maintain appropriate records and files of bird observations. 

    Coordinate volunteer schedules.

    Assist in designing and setting up information displays relevant to program.

    Assist in writing articles for departmental website, brochures and newsletters relating to bird migration and activities.

    Assist in planning and presenting bird-related environmental education to various groups and individuals including, but not limited to schools, scouts, summer camp, special events and the general public.

    Respond to public and governmental inquiries for information contained in bird records, as appropriate.

    Assist general public and co-workers in bird identification and answer questions relating to migration patterns. 


    Perform other functions as directed or as the situation dictates.


    Knowledge of and the ability to learn migration patterns of raptors, and related birds.

    Considerable skill in the identification of migrating birds in flight.

    Ability to work long days and early morning starts, if situation presents itself. 

    Ability to climb stairs and perform job duties on the top level of the 45’ observation tower.

    Ability to communicate effectively orally and in written format.

    Ability to convey enthusiasm and positive energy about bird watching and the environment to the general public.

    Ability to understand and follow both oral and written instructions.

    Ability to accurately prepare and maintain basic departmental records and reports.

    Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with supervisors, fellow employees, volunteer hawkwatchers, various civic organizations, and the general public.

    Ability to work independently and in remote areas of county parks.


    The physical demands and work environment characteristics described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

    Regular and punctual attendance at the assigned work location is an essential function of this position.  Work is generally performed outdoors and requires a considerable amount of physical activity, including extended periods of standing and sitting.  Incumbent must have the ability to carry optical equipment and climb stairs in order to perform job functions at the top of the 45’ observation tower. An incumbent must have the ability to tolerate outdoor weather conditions for extended periods of time and must be able to work in direct sunlight.  An incumbent must also have the ability to transport themselves to and from various locations throughout the park and surrounding jurisdictions. 

    Duties also require the ability to tolerate an indoor and outdoor work environment that includes contact with dirt, dust, noxious odors, poor lighting, electrical hazards, hazardous chemicals, vibrations, dampness, wetness, and inclement weather conditions. An incumbent must have the ability to frequently lift, push, pull and/or carry equipment, supplies and other materials weighing up to 25 lbs., and to occasionally lift, push, pull and/or carry equipment, supplies and other materials weighing up to 50 lbs. An incumbent must also possess the hand-eye coordination and manual dexterity necessary to use hands and arms to reach, finger, handle, grasp, and feel, and operate optical equipment and any other piece of equipment that is used to perform the essential functions of the job.

    Work hours may occasionally be required before or after normal business hours. Noise level is usually quiet to moderate. Vision abilities, correctable to normal ranges, include close vision, distance vision, peripheral vision, depth perception and the ability to adjust focus. Communication abilities include the ability to talk and hear within normal ranges.

    Work requires interaction with the general public.


    1.  Hours will include holidays, evenings, and weekends.

    2.  Professionalism and good public relations are essential, as is time management.

    3.  Performance evaluations will be completed.

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