• Hawk Counter

    Job Locations
    Seasonal, Full-Time
    Job Category
  • Overview

    Now in its second century, Audubon is dedicated to protecting birds and other wildlife and the habitat that supports them. Audubon’s mission is engaging people in bird conservation on a hemispheric scale through science, policy, education and on-the-ground conservation action.  By mobilizing and aligning its network of Chapters, Centers, State and Important Bird Area programs in the four major migratory flyways in the Americas, the organization will bring the full power of Audubon to bear on protecting common and threatened bird species and the critical habitat they need to survive.  And as part of BirdLife International, Audubon will join people in over 100 in-country organizations all working to protect a network of Important Bird Areas around the world, leveraging the impact of actions they take at a local level.  What defines Audubon’s unique value is a powerful grassroots network of nearly 500 local chapters, 23 state offices, 41 Audubon Centers, Important Bird Area Programs in 50 states, and 700 staff across the country.  Audubon is a federal contractor and an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE).



    Position Summary

    Audubon Pennsylvania is seeking an experienced hawk migration counter for Waggoner’s Gap Hawk Watch near Carlisle, PA. Waggoner’s Gap is located on the Kittatinny Ridge in central Pennsylvania, and provides one of the finest hawk-watching opportunities in the East. It is also one of the oldest count sites in North America, beginning in at least 1948, and its count data have been submitted annually to the Hawk Migration Association of North America (HMANA) since the latter's inception in 1974. Throughout its existence, Waggoner’s Gap has relied on trained volunteers to conduct the annual count, which runs from Aug. 1 to Dec. 31. Annual totals average more than 20,000 raptors, including some of the highest golden eagle counts east of the Rockies. Audubon Pennsylvania was given ownership of the hawk watch in 2001 and has since been managing the site in collaboration with the long-time count crew. Waggoner's Gap receives approximately 3,000 visitors annually during the fall migration.


    This is a full-time, seasonal opportunity for approximately 16-18 weeks (August through November, 2018) for the fall migration.

    Essential Functions

    • Identify and count all migrating raptors and other migrants as required
    • Maintain hourly and daily records
    • Provide daily summaries for online and social media posts
    • Assist with compiling the end-of-season summary report
    • Work in collaboration with count volunteers
    • Interact with hawk watch site visitors

    Qualifications and Experience

    • Minimum of one season of previous counting experience
    • Ability to identify eastern raptors in flight at great distances
    • Must be detail oriented; careful data collecting skills
    • Experience interacting with the public and excellent interpersonal skills
    • Be an enthusiastic and motivated self-starter who is also a strong team player
    • Be willing to work irregular hours under sometimes difficult field conditions
    • Must be able to walk on uneven surfaces, climb multiple steep steps and lift 25 lbs. as necessary
    • Ability to tolerate long periods of time outside in harsh weather
    • Must have their own vehicle, and a valid driver’s license


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