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 In this Section:  In the Spotlight News

List of "In the Spotlight" Features

Spotlight on: HawkWatch International

HawkWatch International is a non-profit volunteer organization founded in 1986. The mission of HWI is to protect hawks, eagles, other birds of prey, and their environments through research, education, and conservation. HWI collects long-term, large-scale data on raptor populations, trends, and habitats. The ultimate goal of this research is to foster the maintenance of healthy, sustainable raptor populations and the ecosystems upon which they depend.

Scientists at HawkWatch work to survey the raptor nests, counting adults and fledglings in each nest and banding them to track migration via satellite. These scientists, like Signals of Spring students, use satellite data and other methods to study the bird migration patterns and factors affecting raptor migration. HawkWatch International has compiled these data into a long-term data study on flyway fidelity (do birds utilize the same flyway each year?) as well as population trends. They study changes in bird populations in relation to migration counts including fluctuations in the numbers of birds at particular locations. Since raptors and humans are both at the top of the food chain, and share the same ecosystems, HWI scientists know that studying birds like hawks can teach us about ourselves.

In addition to scientific research, HawkWatch is also involved in a number of education programs, including bringing live raptors to classrooms!

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