Field Biologist

Frankie Vierela


Frankie pursued an Environmental Biology/Ecology degree and a conservation career to allow her to do the two things she has always enjoyed—spending time outside and studying wildlife. She’s particularly interested in the role that predators play in their environment as indicators of a healthy ecosystem. Her work has included a variety of raptor fieldwork, as well as working in wildlife rehabilitation. During her time in wildlife rehabilitation, she saw firsthand the impacts people have on raptors and our shared environment. This led her to continue pursuing work on projects that focus on monitoring wild raptor populations as well as conservation projects that can help restore and protect raptor populations. These projects included a long-term demographic study of California Spotted Owls (UC Davis) and the Puerto Rican Sharp-shinned Hawk Recovery project (Peregrine Fund). 

Frankie first joined HawkWatch International in 2021 as a crewmember at Commissary Ridge HawkWatch, where she returned for a total of three seasons. Between migration seasons, she continued working with HWI as a seasonal technician on various projects, including the Eagle Vehicle Strike program and the Mexican Spotted Owl project.  Frankie joined the HWI staff full-time in 2024 and works on various projects within the Conservation Science department, including mitigating eagle vehicle strikes by relocating roadkill carcasses, studying eagle winter ecology, and monitoring Golden Eagle nesting and reproductive success.

When Frankie isn’t working, she enjoys hiking and camping, birding, reading in her hammock, rock climbing, and spending time with her pet bird, Baby Bird. 

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