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Hitchcock raptor group to celebrate anniversary
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Hitchcock raptor group to celebrate anniversary

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Hitchcock HawkWatch volunteer group celebrates its 30th anniversary this month with a HawkWatch celebration Oct. 17.

The celebration will feature live raptors, presentations from world-traveled wildlife photographer Ty Smedes and educational programming from this year’s Hawk Counter, Caleb Strand.

“HawkWatch members spend hundreds of hours every fall banding, observing and recording an average of 13,000 raptors to better understand how species are impacted by climate change, habitat loss, poisoning and disease,” a press release said. “Monitoring changes to raptor populations is important because it’s a strong indicator of ecological health.”

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Even though birds of prey are at the top of the food chain, populations have continued to decline. It’s important for HawkWatch to monitor changes to raptor populations because it’s a strong indicator of ecological health.

The group has recorded the migration of hundreds of thousands of birds of prey since 1991.

“This hardworking group spends hours in the cold, wind and rain to make sure migrating birds are being tracked every day during migration season,” said Pottawattamie Conservation Volunteer and Facilities Coordinator Dana Kruse in the release. “They believe in their work and we’d love for the community to come out and learn more about why it’s so important.”

The event will take place at the Hitchcock Nature Center, 27792 Ski Hill Loop in Honey Creek, from 1 to 4 p.m. The cost is free with the $5 park admission pass or an annual permit.

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