Wildlife Research Institute

HAWK WATCH RETURNS: SATURDAYS IN JANUARY AND FEBRUARY

 

East County News Service

January 4, 2015 (Ramona) –  Hawk Watch, a free celebration of raptors will take place at the Wildlife Research Institute in Ramona Grasslands at 10 a.m. each Saturday in January and February—rain or shine.   You can observe both wintering and resident raptors such as the Golden Eagle, Bald Eagle, Ferruginous Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, Prairie Falcon, Red-shouldered Hawk, and Burrowing Owl.

Nineteen species of raptors have been recorded at this “raptor hotspot,” where you will learn the life histories of these beautiful birds as well as the importance of the Ramona Grassland ecosystem from WRI biologists.  In addition to wild raptors, you will also see several trained raptors and owls up close.

EAGLE EXPERT HIRED BY WIND INDUSTRY LOCALLY PLEADS GUILTY TO ILLEGAL GOLDEN EAGLE TAKE AND FAILING TO FILE REPORTS ON BIRDS HE TRACKED

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 19, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) –  David Bittner, eagle expert with Wildlife Research Institute, pled guilty to federal charges of unlawful taking of a Golden Eagle without a permit and failing to file any data reports for a four-year period on birds that he had banded. 

Bittner conducted studies on Golden Eagles for Iberdrola’s Tule Wind project in East County, which was approved by the federal government on public lands as well as by the county on private properties. Portions of the project on state and tribal lands, where several Golden Eagle nests were reported, are pending approvals by the Bureau of Indian Affairs and State Lands Commission.

“Can those agencies rely on Bittner’s Golden Eagle work for Tule wind that was apparently unpermitted and unlawful?” asks Donna Tisdale, chair of Boulevard Planning Group and a founder of two citizens groups, Protect Our Communities Foundation and Backcountry Against Dumps, that has filed a lawsuit seeking to halt the project.  “What other breaches of law or professional ethics might be involved?”

TWO PERSPECTIVES ON THE RAPID EXTIRPATION OF SAN DIEGO COUNTY'S GOLDEN EAGLES

Reprinted with permission from San Diego Loves Green.

By Roy L. Hales

March 6, 2013 (San Diego) -- According to a recent "Golden Eagle Threat Alert" by the Wildlife Research Institute (WRI), “human activity is causing the rapid extirpation of our last remaining Golden Eagle Territories.” They claim that over the past few decades, the number of San Diego’s “active golden eagle territories” has dropped from 103 to 49.

The US Fish & Wildlife Service states that wind turbines kill almost half a million birds every year. More recent studies suggest the number is much higher, somewhere between 13 and 39 million birds. Many of these are raptors.

HAWK WATCH: AN UP CLOSE LOOK AT RAPTORS

 

Event continues each Saturday in January and February

By Miriam Raftery

January 27, 2013 (Ramona ) – A Ferruginous hawk, the largest hawk found in San Diego County, hunkers down on a treetop at the Ramona Grasslands preserve.  In a field nearby,  volunteers with the Wildlife Research Institute give visitors an up-close look at another of these magnificent birds (left), which winter in our region after migrating south from the northern U.S. and Canada.

Rainfall  moved the event indoors, where a Peregrine Falcon and a Screech Owl were shown off next. “We’ve never cancelled a single time,” WRI executive director Dave Bittner notes.  Later, as the weather cleared, Bittner displayed a golden eagle outdoors; a special report by the WRI warns that “our last remaining Golden Eagle territories in San Diego County are being threatened.”

WHERE EAGLES SOAR: VIEW WILD RAPTORS AT HAWK WATCH IN RAMONA EACH SATURDAY IN JANUARY


By Millicent Arko
 
January 2, 2012 (Ramona) – The Ramona Grasslands and Wildlife Research Institute (WRI) invites the public to visit and view wintering and resident birds of prey. Programs begin promptly at 9 a.m. and end at noon every Saturday in January. This free event is held at the WRI headquarters at 18030 Highland Valley Road near the intersection of Rangeland and Highland Roads in Ramona.