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Winter Raptor Surveys

Posted on Feb 16, 2016

We are in the heart of the winter raptor survey season, and we need the continued help of citizen scientists like you! The Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History is assisting the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation for a third season of wintering raptor surveys in Chautauqua County in 2015-2016. The primary focus of these surveys is to determine where Short-eared Owls (Asio flammeus), ‘endangered’ in New York, and Northern Harriers (Circus cyaneus), ‘threatened’ in New York, are spending the winter season to roost and feed. So far this winter we seem to have a number of Northern Harriers around but no one has been spotting any Short-eared Owls…at least yet.

Northern Harrier Gray Ghost-8055

“Gray Ghost” (adult male) Northern Harrier

We need your sightings, too! From December through March please be sure to enter any Northern Harrier or Short-eared Owl sightings you have had in Chautauqua County into eBird with as many details as possible including precise location, date, time, weather, number of individuals, sex, age, behavior (e.g. hunting, roosting, preening) and general condition of the bird(s). Alternatively, you can email this information to skruitbosch AT rtpi.org. Thank you in advance, and good birding!

Scott Kruitbosch
Conservation & Outreach Coordinator