About the Raptor Relocation Network
The Raptor Relocation Network is a partnership between Audubon International and the United Airlines Eco-Skies that connects Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program member golf courses with airport wildlife managers who are trapping and relocating raptors at New York-area airports. The program is designed to protect raptors – including hawks, ospreys and owls – by relocating the birds-of-prey to safer, more suitable habitat on golf courses within the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program. These raptors are being relocated for safety reasons, including bird strikes.
Golf courses are an ideal and under-recognized habitat for raptors due to the abundance of high vantage perches and long, clear views along and across fairways, excellent nesting opportunities, wide variety of habitats, and limited interaction with humans. ACSP courses are being managed with wildlife habitat in mind, and have the potential to be designated as Official Release Sites for the Raptor Relocation Network.
Official Release Sites
There are certain criteria that a course must meet to be considered for designation as an Official Release Site. Courses must be located a minimum of five miles from the closest airport of any size, and at least 15 miles from the nearest major airport. Additionally, interested courses must complete a habitat evaluation form and undergo a site visit from Audubon International staff to assess their ability to provide food, habitat, and space for raptor species.
Official Release Sites are also responsible for designating monitors to participate in tracking activities. All raptors relocated as part of this program are fitted with USGS bands and auxiliary color bands. Citizen scientists monitor for and record sightings to provide data on the post-release movement of raptor species and help identify preferred relocation areas.
To report a banded bird sighting and view an interactive map of relocation sites, please click here.
For more information, please contact Brian Hagenbuch, Director of Conservation Initiatives, at Brian@auduboninternational.org or 518-767-9051 Ext. 116.
“We’re proud to be part of the Raptor Relocation Network and serve as a sanctuary for at-risk and threatened raptor species such as the American Kestrel."
- Ryan Tuxhorn, Golf Coruse Superintendent
Somerset Hills Country Club in New Jersey
Photos and Video Courtesy of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey