ANACOSTIA RAPTOR WATCH
Anacostia Raptor Watch is a citizen science program that engages the community in monitoring the birds that call the Anacostia River “home”. This includes both predator and prey birds. The raptors are at the top of the food chain which makes them the predators, and the other birds that we may monitor are all potential prey for the raptors of the Anacostia. The well-being of the prey animals and the water quality of the river are crucial for top level predators to survive.
CONSERVATION, COMMUNITY AND CAREERS
Through this core ECC program, three things are achieved -- wildlife Conservation through citizen science, Community connections through service, and Career pathways for area youth through engagement with the world’s leading biologists.
To expand ECC’s citizen science monitoring program of active eagle nests to document and understand the continued urban habitat restoration of raptors along the Anacostia.
To engage members of the community of all ages and backgrounds to volunteer and be a part of the monitoring program.
To engage youth in meaningful citizen science monitoring experiences that have the potential to lead to careers in conservation. It is ECC’s hope to engage youth who are in school-based programs, out-of-school time activities, and summer programming in our citizen science monitoring.
The Earth Conservation Corps has worked to re-introduce the bald eagle, monitor behavior, and create habitat for birds of prey and other wildlife on the Anacostia throughout its history. In 2013 ECC officially launched the Anacostia Raptor Watch program with two middle school interns from the Field School. The purpose of creating the Anacostia Raptor Watch was to connect the community to birds of prey through real citizen science monitoring.
Live in-person monitoring took place at two eagle nests and multiple osprey nests on the river. ECC, along with partners including National Geographic, the Metropolitan Police Department, Pepco and National Park Service, set up an eagle camera at an active eagle nest on the Police Academy grounds. Liberty and Justice, a mated pair of eagles, called that nest home for almost a decade. Later that spring ECC set up an osprey camera at a nest on the Anacostia. ECC partnered with Ornithologist Dr. Richard O. Bierregaard, to place a tracking device on a juvenile osprey to begin a study of their migration patterns. This study was part of his larger work studying many osprey from various places along the east coast and following their annual migration to South America.