Do You Love birds?
Volunteer or work at Hawks Aloft to support us in our mission to help wild birds through research, education, and conservation.
What kind of program are you interested in? When are you interested in volunteering? Please let us know in the form below.
FIRST STEPS TO VOLUNTEERING
Once you’ve signed up by filling out the volunteer form, you will be required to attend meetings (via Zoom – you can attend from home!) of either our education/ outreach team or our raptor-rescue team before jumping in. This will give you the opportunity to get acquainted with some of the staff and volunteers that you’ll be working with. Just as importantly, you’ll get an idea of some of the realities of volunteering with Hawks Aloft — both the challenges and the rewards.
New volunteers often begin by working a few hours a week at the Hawks Aloft office. This is a great way to get your feet wet while getting to know some of our staff and volunteers. Plus, we get to know you as well! Specific duties will depend on current needs but could include anything from stuffing envelopes to organizing our digital treasure-trove of bird photos taken by our highly skilled photographers.
Help give back to our Avian Ambassadors by joining the cleaning crew! Each week, one or two volunteers are needed to help clean mats, change water pans, and rake the enclosures of 12 of our education birds. These weekly cleanings take place on weekdays and last approximately two hours. By completing 12 hours of mews cleaning, you can qualify for training in raptor handling, which will prepare you for further volunteering in educational programs and outreach events.
Our education birds are housed in large wood-slat flight cages, a.k.a. mews. These specialized enclosures inevitably become worn over time and will require maintenance—including, but not limited to, replacing locks, painting, replacing Astroturf, leveling the ground, and replacing broken materials. Materials will be provided. Depending on the project, volunteers may have to supply their own tools.
Hawks Aloft regularly participates in outreach events to promote conservation, preservation, and appreciation of birds of prey. Events vary significantly in size, time, and location and are held throughout the year. For these events, volunteers can help set up the space and/or take a shift educating the public on birds of prey. Outreach volunteers interested in learning how to handle our avian ambassadors during the programs will be required to complete at least 12 hours of mews cleaning before beginning their training.
Hawks Aloft facilitates youth and adult education throughout the year, presenting both single- and multi-visit programs. Education volunteers assist the Education Coordinator by setting up programs, handling and talking about the Avian Ambassadors, and assisting with educational games and activities as appropriate. Volunteers interested in learning how to handle our birds during these programs will be required to complete at least 12 hours of mews cleaning before beginning their training.
We are looking for people from all over New Mexico who want to help rescue injured raptors, corvids, and roadrunners. When our raptor-rescue dispatcher receives a call and determines that a rescue is in order, they reach out to volunteers in the area who can go and pick up the bird and transport it to one of our rehabilitators. Your first responsibility as a rescue team member will be to commit to attending team meetings and transporting birds. The latter may include some out-of-town travel—for example, from Albuquerque to Socorro or Española. A raptor-rescue manual and some basic training will be provided.
CITIZEN SCIENCE / RESEARCH
Are you interested in helping us with some of our research projects? One of our longest-running studies is the Middle Rio Grande bosque raptor-monitoring project, which surveys 70 miles of bosque habitat in Albuquerque and the surrounding area. This survey relies heavily on volunteers, who each have their own stretch of the bosque to monitor each year. Training is provided. Please check with us regarding other field research opportunities.
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