[Currents headergraphic]

July 5, 1999

Santa Cruz Predatory Bird Research Group gains recognition for its Web site

By Tim Stephens

Anyone interested in eagles, falcons, and other predatory birds is bound to enjoy the Web site maintained by the Santa Cruz Predatory Bird Research Group (SCPBRG). The site was redesigned by volunteer Clare Staveley in November and has since garnered an impressive string of awards and recognition.

[Photo of Peregrine falcon]
Find out about the remarkable resurgence of peregrine falcons in California and other parts of the West Coast on the Santa Cruz Predatory Bird Research Group Web site

Based at Long Marine Laboratory, the SCPBRG has a wide range of ongoing research projects involving hawks, eagles, falcons, owls, and seabirds. The research group's latest findings are regularly posted on the Web site, where visitors can also find background on raptor biology, resources for teachers, staff profiles, and more.

Staveley, who received her B.A. in biology from UCSC last year, said the Web site's design, content, and graphics are all new. The home page features a monthly update on SCPBRG activities, and there is also a "Field Notes" page that changes every month and provides anecdotal reports from researchers working in the field.

One of the most engaging features of the site is a series of written reports and maps showing the annual migrations of individual bald eagles that researchers are tracking via satellite telemetry. The eagles have been outfitted with transmitters that send regular location reports via e-mail to SCPBRG researchers.

"We update the maps of the eagle migrations as the data comes in," said researcher Janet Linthicum.

For example, the map for an adult female bald eagle who wintered at Millerton Lake in Central California shows the path of her 1,900-mile northward migration through Oregon, Washington, and Canada. She now seems to have settled in at her usual breeding ground, an island on The Great Slave Lake in Canada's Northwest Territories.

Staveley, who is currently applying to veterinary schools, started working with the SCPBRG in 1997, when she helped rehabilitate birds affected by a vegetable oil spill in Monterey Bay. She did her senior thesis on western grebes affected by the spill, and SCPBRG coordinator Brian Walton was her thesis advisor.

After she graduated, Staveley asked Walton if there were any projects she could help with. "He said they could use a new Web site, so I took a stab at it," she said.

Recognition of her good work includes:

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