Meet this month’s volunteer spotlight, Tom Jones! Tom has volunteered at HawkWatch International in many different roles—if there is an opportunity to gather data and get out in the field, Tom gets after it! Every year Tom monitors around 20 American Kestrel Boxes in addition to maintaining, hanging, and repairing boxes for our Following Forest Owl and Burrowing Owl Projects. On top of that, Tom often makes the arduous hike up to the Goshute Mountains hawkwatch to help set up camp for the crew. We are so grateful to Tom and all that he has done for our organization. Keep reading to hear from Tom himself on why he has given so much to HWI.
How long have you been volunteering with HawkWatch International?
I have been volunteering for HawkWatch International with their community science department for 10 years.
How did you get started volunteering with HWI?
I attended a meeting with different nonprofits to explore volunteer opportunities. HawkWatch International really appealed to me and the rest is history.
What is your “spark bird?”
The American Kestrel. They inspired me to start noticing raptors wherever I go.
What do you do outside of volunteering for HWI?
Before retiring, I was a football coach. These days I enjoy photography, drawing raptors, road biking, camping, hiking, and traveling.
What is your favorite moment from volunteering?
Several years ago on a winter survey near Snowville, we recorded 295 raptors. That was an amazing day, raptors were everywhere. Another favorite moment was resighting a Rough-legged Hawk that Neil Paprocki had deployed a transmitter on for three winters in a row in the same area near Snowville.
Why should people care about conserving raptors?
Conserving raptors means conserving their habitat. We share that habitat. Not protecting their habitat and environment degrades our quality of life.