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City seeks eagle watch volunteers

By Staff | May 7, 2011

Cape Coral has 14 active eagle nests and eight nesting areas and not enough people to monitor them, so the city is reaching out to the community in hopes of finding volunteers to keep an eye on America’s symbol.
Planning technician Samantha Crow said she needs about 28 volunteers — two for each nest –to make the the new program work, but she’s not looking for people with previous experience.
Instead, Crow needs volunteers who are dedicated and serious, and willing to take on the task along with necessary training.
Crow said volunteers need to be able to monitor the nest at least once a week.
“I’m looking for someone who is willing to dedicate their own personal time, about 20 or 30 minutes, to monitoring a nest,” she added.
Eagle nesting season is set to begin Oct. 1.
Crow hopes to have all the volunteers by September for an pre-season meeting and training session, she said.
Crow added that one of the most important elements is learning how to read the different postures of the birds, and then being able to record the behavior.
She said it’s difficult to determine what the bird is feeling or communicating while watching certain postures, but it can be done with training, practice and patience.
“They need to be able to watch them and document their behavior and posture,” Crow said, adding, “Once they get the postures down, it’s easy.”
Crow needs volunteers in all areas of the city except the southeast, where she already has a few.
The northwest part of the city is in desperate need of volunteers to monitor the nests, Crow said.
“We’ve got tons of nests in the north and it would be great if we can get those covered,” Crow said.
For those interested in volunteering, contact Crow at scrow@capecoral.net for more information.