Shawnlei Breeding, Audubon EagleWatch Program Manager sent this message to participants in Florida Audubon EagleWatch as well as those interested in watching a nest and submitting observations. Required training for new Volunteers will be available online. She writes (August 29, 2019):
Eagle nesting season is just around the corner! Are you excited? I know I am, but also wondering “where did the summer go?” Although the official nesting season doesn’t start until Oct 1st, I’m starting to receive reports from volunteers that their pairs are already back in their nest territory!
As we prepare for the upcoming nesting season, let’s take a moment to reflect on all you accomplished last season:
· 422 volunteers monitored 740 nests in 45 counties
· 584 nests were occupied by a nesting pair, hatching 821 chicks, of which 770 survived to successfully fledge!
· Nest productivity remained stable: 1.32 fledglings per occupied nest vs. 1.31 fledglings per occupied nest last season.
· The fledge rate was slightly higher this season: 94% of chicks fledged vs. 92% last season.
· Despite concerns about red-tide along our coasts, monitored nests near affected waters were just as successful as non-impacted nests around the state.
As you can see, it was another successful season for the eagles and for the EagleWatch program! Here are a few important updates as we prepare for the 2019-2020 season.
All new volunteers are required to go through training. If you joined the program mid-season last year, please make plans to attend one of our upcoming in-person or online trainings. We currently have 6 trainings scheduled with a few more to be added. The first training will be Sept 15th in Central Florida. You are welcome to attend any training that works for you! Due to space constraints at some of the locations, registration is required to attend. To see the current training locations and to sign-up to attend, visit the registration page at: http://www.eaglewatchflorida.org/training_registration.html
Current volunteers are also welcome to attend if you would like a refresher.
I will assume you will continue to monitor the same nest(s) unless I hear from you. Please do let me know if you are not able to monitor your nest(s) this season so I can be sure to find another volunteer to cover it.
3. Nest Database:
We have updated the Nest Survey form for the 2020 season on the Volunteer website (under Submit Your Data tab), so you may begin entering observations there for the new season. The Survey123 app for the 2020 season is being updated as I type. Once it is ready, I will send out an email with instruction to update the app on your phone, computer or tablet. If you use the app version of the nest form, please use the web version of the form on the Volunteer website or hold off on submitting observations until you hear from me.
The Volunteer website and Nest Survey form are password protected and use the same login credentials as last year. Please note: the login credentials are institutional (they are the same for all volunteers) so you cannot personalize them or use the “Forgot password/username” link to reset them. If you have forgotten the username or password, email me at email@example.com and I will send them right away.
The last four seasons have started with a hurricane and it looks like this one will be no different. As Dorian approaches, please take precautions and be safe! Let me know how you and your nests fared after the storm has passed.
If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to contact me. I’m here to help! I look forward to working together to help protect Florida’s nesting eagles!
Audubon EagleWatch Program Manager
Audubon Center for Birds of Prey
1101 Audubon Way
Maitland, FL 32751
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