Volunteer with HWI

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Volunteers play a vital role in the success of our programs, and we cherish the relationships we build with our volunteers. Get ready to roll your sleeves up, learn about raptor science, experience close encounters with live birds of prey, and be surrounded by like-minded nature enthusiasts.

Volunteer and Community Science Opportunities


American Kestrel Studies

Each spring, HWI community scientists monitor an extensive network of Kestrel nest boxes in the diverse landscapes of the Wasatch Front, Tuscon, AZ, and the Idaho/Washington border as part of the American Kestrel Partnership. Volunteers will be assigned a box or a number of boxes to monitor throughout the nesting season. You can learn more about our American Kestrel Studies here

Project Timeline and Commitment: March - June, 2-3 hours every 7-10 days.

Orientation will be held 03/04/23. Register here!

Education Docents

HWI Education Docents learn how to handle live birds of prey and take them to outreach programs at schools, community partners, and private events across northern Utah. Education Docents are vital to helping us achieve our mission to conserve our shared environment through science education. Must be 18 years or older and live in the Salt Lake area. 

Project Timeline and Commitment: Year-round, Docents must sign up for at least two programs or two training sessions per month and handle birds at least once per month.

We are not currently accepting new docents. If you would like to be added to the waitlist of our next cohort, please fill out this form here.


Raptor Migration Monitoring Crew Member

Since 1983 HawkWatch International teams have monitored raptor migration at a network of sites across western North America. Crewmember duties include a combination of standardized daily migration counts of diurnal raptors, safely engaging and delivering outreach to site visitors, and at a subset of sites, assisting with capture and banding of migrating raptors. Fall locations in Washington, Oregon, Wyoming, Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona, and Texas. Spring location in Alaska. You can learn more about the migration network here.

Project Timeline and Commitment: Fall migration (mid-August through mid-November) or Spring migration (mid-March through mid-May), Full-time (6 days on, 1 day off), $55 daily living stipend and one time $150 travel stipend provided.

CLOSED FOR 2022 SEASON - Opens fall 2023


Following Forest Owls

In partnership with Earthwatch, join us in one of two locations—in northern Utah or southeastern Arizona—to study owl ecology. During the day, you’ll measure owl habitat—locating tree cavities and taking GPS and other measurements. At night, you’ll listen for the low-pitched ‘boop’ of the Flammulated Owl, the high-pitched laughing of Elf Owls, or the non-stop ‘reverse signal’ tooting of the Northern Saw-whet owl while you survey for, capture, and band owls that fly above you. You can learn more about Following Forest Owls here and here.

Project Timeline and Commitment: April-July, 1 week-long, NOTE this is a paid excursion. Attendees must pay a fee to cover the cost of food, accommodation, and research costs for the trip.

OPEN FOR THE 2023 SEASON. Book your spot here: https://earthwatch.org/expeditions/following-forest-owls-western-us

If you are interested in volunteering, please join our newsletter, or follow us on social media (@hawkwatch) for project-specific announcements. If you have any questions about volunteering, please contact us via