This is how to volunteer in Southern Utah entirely outdoors: Survey the raptors

Raptor image from Pixabay, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — The Bureau of Land Management and the Raptor Inventory Nest Survey are seeking volunteers for its annual survey to monitor nests in Southern Utah from March through July.

Personnel from RINS will give a volunteer field training course Feb. 7 at noon in the BLM Cedar City Field Office at 176 E. DL Sargent Drive, Cedar City.

In this January 2014 file photo, a bald eagle takes flight from a tree at the eighth hole at Bloomington Country Club Golf Course, St. George, Utah, Jan. 10, 2014 | Photo by and courtesy of Nancy Anderson, St. George News

RINS, an all-volunteer organization, studies birds of prey that nest throughout Utah’s vast ecosystems and offers an opportunity for volunteers to be involved as “citizen scientists” in a long-term raptor nest monitoring project. RINS collects and manages vital data on the nesting ecology of eagles, falcons, hawks, ospreys and owls.

Volunteers do not need previous experience or science credentials to participate, but just need to enjoy Utah’s outdoors and have a desire to help these magnificent birds of prey. It is recommended that volunteers have a pair of binoculars, a GPS unit, a digital camera and an email address. The time commitment involves monitoring visits to designated field locations during the March-July period.

To become a volunteer, contact RINS to attend the training; visit the RINS website, email info@rins.org or telephone 801-554-0807.

“Through this partnership, we are committed to showing the public a unique way of enjoying their public land, while striving to promote productive and healthy wildlife habitat,” Conner England, BLM wildlife biologist, said. “Information gathered by RINS volunteers will aid managers in protecting young birds and nest sites.”

For more information, contact BLM Color Country District public affairs specialist Nick Howell at telephone 435-865-3026.

Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf may call the Federal Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339 to leave a message or question for Howell. The service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. FRS replies are provided during normal business hours.

Email: news@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

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