Identifying Raptors in Fall Migration in Wisconsin

Synchronous online session, Sat. Aug 13, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm, with a one hour lunch break (11:30-12:30)

Instructor: William Mueller is the Director Emeritus of the Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory.  He is currently serving on the Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative’s Steering Committee and is the co-chair of the Issues Committee.  He has had many other leadership roles in bird conservation projects, including serving as Conservation Chair of the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology (2002 – 2012), as co-chair of the Midwest Aerial Insectivore Working Group, and as Project Coordinator for the Milwaukee BIOME Project.

The Course:  The goal of this course is to learn to identify and monitor raptors during migration. We will especially focus on learning how to identify raptors in flight; that is how we are most likely to see them during their autumn migration.  Many field guides are useful for identifying a perched raptor, but the birds when seen in flight can look quite different from images in standard bird field guides, and their appearance can be confusing at first.  Participants will learn how to identify and count the Wisconsin species, including how raptors appear in various lighting conditions as well as timing by species and weather conditions.  We will cover likely locations in eastern Wisconsin for autumn raptor migration and how to participate in a “hawk count” (an “official” count, or one you start by yourself).  We will also investigate resources for learning and study, including online sources, field guides on raptors, tools, and equipment.  The course will cover vultures, eagles, accipiters, buteos, osprey, northern harrier, falcons and kites.

Course fee: $35. Not available for college credit, 0.3 CEU

Register here.