The Iowa Department of Natural Resources will be hosting two live online training workshops for anybody interested in becoming a volunteer bald eagle nest monitor in Iowa.
Prospective nest monitors must attend one of the two scheduled workshops. The workshops will be held via Zoom on Feb. 20 from 10:00 a.m to noon and Feb. 22 from 6:30-8:30 pm.
Community science volunteers have been helping to monitor Iowa’s eagle population since 2006. Workshop participants will learn about this program and how to get involved and monitor a nest in their area of the state. Iowa has more than 400 active bald eagle nests across the state plus many more that have an unknown status. In 2020, volunteer nest monitors collected data on roughly 250 of these nests.
“With more than 1,000 wildlife species in the state, we just don’t have enough staff in the DNR to adequately monitor all the vulnerable species that need attention," program coordinator Stephanie Shepherd said. "This is where community scientists play a crucial role.”
To be a bald eagle nest monitor you will need a pair of binoculars and preferably a spotting scope. Nest monitors are particularly needed in the following counties: Allamakee, Clayton, Delaware, Floyd, Greene, Guthrie, Henry, Jones, Lucas and Winneshiek. However, interested people anywhere in the state are welcome. The DNR will try to match monitors with a nest near their home base. The time commitment for conducting the survey and submitting data is roughly six hours between March and July each year and will require multiple visits to a nest.
Each workshop will be limited to 20 households, and a $5 fee is required. Registration will close on Feb. 17 at 5 p.m., or whenever the 20 household per workshop limit has been reached. Direct questions can be submitted to Shepherd at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Feb. 20, the Zoom session will open at 9:50 a.m. to allow people to get in and get settled. The workshop will start promptly at 10 a.m.
On Feb. 22, the session will open at 6:20 p.m. and the workshop will start promptly at 6:30.