Do You Love birds?
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.
Volunteer with us
What kind of program are you interested in? When are you interested in volunteering? Please let us know in the form below.
Current Job Openings
Hawks Aloft, Inc. Position Announcement
Hawks Aloft, Inc. (http://hawksaloft.org), a New Mexico non-profit based in Albuquerque, seeks a unique individual to join our conservation team. This person is multi-faceted and interested in participating in all aspects of Hawks Aloft, including educational programs for schools and our community, avian research, raptor rescue, and administrative activities.
Our primary educational program is Living with the Landscape, a school year-long program that serves all students in participating Title I schools through a conservation curriculum with a combination of lecture and active play that builds in intensity in the upper grade levels of local elementary schools. The program includes field trips to natural areas and a conservation project for the school. Live, non-releasable birds of prey, our avian ambassadors, are at each classroom presentation to help students understand the ecological lessons in the curriculum. We also participate in outreach events in our community and statewide.
Field technician responsibilities may include assisting with nocturnal owl surveys for both Mexican Spotted Owl and other owl species on Valles Caldera National Preserve (VCNP), avian point count surveys on VCNP and the Santa Fe National Forest, raptor nest and reproductive monitoring in both local and remote locations, and avian walking transect surveys in the Middle Rio Grande bosque.
Hawks Aloft has a dedicated Raptor Rescue hotline, staffed year-round during daylight hours. Staff, volunteers, veterinarians, and wildlife rehabilitators work together to ensure that injured raptors, corvids, and roadrunners are provided medical care, either at one of our Albuquerque locations or to another permitted facility within the state. We are active in the conservation community, working on topics relative to the electric utility industry, local conservation issues, the New Mexico Avian Conservation Partners, and other nonprofits in New Mexico.
Duties will vary seasonally, as follows:
Winter Months: songbird monitoring in the Middle Rio Grande bosque (20%), classroom education with non-releasable raptors as well as care and handling of these birds (40%), Raptor Rescue (20%), administrative (20%)
Spring and Summer: field technician working at various outdoor sites in New Mexico (60%), Raptor Rescue (40%)
Fall: education (60%), Raptor Rescue (30%), outreach (10%)
The ideal candidate has a strong interest in birds and conservation, excellent social skills to engage youth while making presentations to diverse groups, is physically fit and able to hike up to six miles per day, and has a BS degree in Biology or a related field, or the equivalent in work experience. Good organizational skills and multi-tasking essential. Identification of songbirds by sight and sound a plus. Classroom education experience and other experience with youth and raptors also a plus. Raptor handling and/or raptor rehabilitation a plus. Duties include bird care, bird handling, cleaning cages and doing bird laundry as well as veterinary visits. We do not expect any one candidate to have experience in all areas, but will provide training as needed for the right candidate. Position will be filled when the individual that is the best match for Hawks Aloft is found. This full-time permanent position includes benefits (company vehicle, vacation and sick leave). Starting salary $24,000.
Email a cover letter, resume, and references including contact emails to: Gail AT Hawksaloft.org
No phone calls, please.
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