Volunteer Spotlight: Wendy Sears

15 April 2022
Wendy and Aymara Wendy and Aymara

How long have you been volunteering with HawkWatch International? 

I started training as a docent in the fall of 2015.

How did you get started volunteering with HWI?

HawkWatch International volunteers were with the Raptor Ambassadors outside of my place of employment at the time. I was enamored with the raptors and inquired about how I could become a volunteer. 

What is your “spark bird?”

​​Buteo jamaicensis is my "spark bird". As a child, I remember being at the Point of the Mountain (where Salt Lake County meets Utah County for those unfamiliar with Salt Lake City) while my father was hang-gliding, and we saw a Red-tailed Hawk gliding on a thermal. I was mesmerized by the Red-tail's agility in flight. 

What do you do outside of volunteering for HWI?

Volunteering with HawkWatch International inspired me to work in education. I enjoy spending time with my family, hiking, creating art, and of course, bird watching. 

What is your favorite moment from volunteering?

My favorite moment volunteering was banding American Kestrel chicks with my family and a HawkWatch International biologist. Volunteering is rewarding and has given me many fantastic memories. 

Why should people care about conserving raptors?

People should care about conserving raptors because they are vital predators in our environment. Raptors are an indicator species, which means if they are in trouble, something in our shared environment is out of balance.