Falconer Dave Noble designed and built the station with the help of Dave Kester, John Howe, and Amy Ries. In addition to master banders John Stravers (Hawk) and Kester, we hired six Luther interns to help staff the blind from September 15 to November 15. In total, they caught 36 hawks: Red-tailed Hawks, Sharp-shinned Hawks, Coopers Hawks, a Northern Goshawk, and a Rough-legged Hawk. 20 of the hawks were hatch year birds and 16 were adults, with 18 females, 12 males, and six of unknown sex. It was a wonderful field research experience for the interns, who became proficient at trapping, handling, ID’ing, sexing, aging, and banding wild hawks. 18 additional students from the University of Upper Iowa visited the blind with ornithologist and assistant Biology Professor Paul Skrade, who was thrilled to trap and band a Red-tailed Hawk during one of his visits.
|Once they are caught, birds need to be ID'd, sexed, aged, and assessed. We weigh them, measure them, look for external parasites, and check their overall body condition before releasing them as quickly as we can. The data is recorded and given to the Bird Banding Lab. You can read more about banding here: https://raptorresource.blogspot.com/2013/02/banding-birds-part-i-brief-history.html|
Emily and Dave also worked with Decorah’s schools to introduce younger students to birds of prey. 70 first and second grade students participated in our Introduction to Raptors module, 135 first through seventh grade students got to meet and greet a red-tailed hawk and/or a sharp-shinned hawk, and 8 homeschool students took a field trip to the station, where they were introduced to banding and field research.
|Students from the Decorah School System meeting a Red-tailed Hawk|
|Releasing a hawk after processing|
We are very grateful to the Iowa DNR for funding our program. The Iowa DNR and local conservation boards do a wonderful job protecting Iowa’s resources. To learn more about Iowa’s Conservation Education Program, please follow this link: http://www.iowadnr.gov/Conservation/REAP/REAP-Funding-at-Work/Conservation-Education
If you would like to donate to the Bob Anderson Memorial Scholarship fund, follow this link: https://www.cfneia.org/giving/contribute/712-as.