The Wildlife Research Institute in Ramona is continuing a 19-year Saturday tradition this month and next by inviting the public to observe the visiting and resident raptors in the Ramona Grasslands.
HawkWatch 2010 will be held every Saturday in January and February from 9 a.m. to noon. The only exception is if it rains.
Visitors will see raptors such as the golden eagle, wintering ferruginous hawk, red-tailed hawk, prairie falcon and red-shouldered hawk. Nineteen species of raptors have been recorded at what institute biologists call “this raptor hotspot.”
In addition to observing the wild raptors, visitors to this free and educational program will learn the life histories of these hawks and eagles and the significance of the Ramona Grassland ecosystem to the raptors’ survival from institute biologists. There will be demonstrations of hawk banding and tracking eagles with transmitters.
Visitors are encouraged to bring binoculars and cameras, and HawkWatch organizers recommend that attendees layer their clothing and wear sturdy shoes. Spotting scopes will be available for the public’s use.
The area is handicapped accessible. HawkWatch begins at the Wildlife Research Institute’s headquarters at 18030 Highland Valley Road, near the intersection of Rangeland and Highland Valley roads.
The institute, a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit, is located in the heart of the Ramona Grasslands and is dedicated to wildlife research, conservation and education. Schoolchildren from Ramona and other communities are treated to tours and programs on Wednesdays.
For large groups or more information about HawkWatch 2010, call the institute at 760-789-3992.