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Acadia National Park Accepting Applications for Raptor Interpretation Internship

Crowd watching peregine falcons.

Helping visitors understand peregrine falcon activity is an important part of the intern's job. NPS photo by Sheridan Steele.

Acadia National Park is one of the premier locations in the country for viewing raptors, including peregrine falcons and hawks. The park is looking for an intern to help monitor raptor activity and provide interpretation for the thousands of visitors who come to Acadia to see the birds.

The raptor internship runs from mid-May to mid-October. Although there is a possibility of two shorter internships, one in the summer and one in the fall, priority will be given to applicants who can commit to the full season.

From mid-May through mid-August the raptor intern observes and interprets the activities of peregrine falcons at Champlain Mountain, a falcon nesting site since 1991. From late August to mid-October the intern counts and identifies migrating raptors from atop Cadillac Mountain at 1,530 feet.

The park's Hawk Watch program on Cadillac Mountain is a popular annual event, and the intern will play an active role in those activities.

Every year, strong northerly winds push thousands of raptors from Maine and Canada south along the eastern coastline as they migrate to warmer areas for the winter. With its wide-open views and tallest vantage point on the eastern U.S. coast, Acadia's HawkWatch location on Cadillac Mountain often provides visitors with a close look at the soaring raptors.

Each year, program participants see large numbers of sharp-shinned hawks and American kestrels, while many other raptors pass along with them.

From August 19 through October 14, 2009, park rangers, volunteers, and visitors spotted, identified, and counted 2,831 birds for the season. Over the past 15 years (1995–2009), the average number of raptors seen per year is 2,579.

Good communications skills are a must for these interns, in addition to knowledge of raptors.

The raptor intern engages thousands of visitors at these two sites, interpreting the natural history and conservation measures regarding raptors, as well as monitoring and collecting resource data. Candidates should demonstrate proficiency in public speaking, computer skills, and knowledge of raptors.

If you're interested, here are the important details:

In return for 32 hours of work each week, the intern receives a uniform, housing, and a $100 weekly stipend.

To apply, submit a cover letter, resume, and contact information (phone, postal address, and/or email) for three references to Raptor Internship, c/o Sonya Berger, P.O. Box 177, Bar Harbor, ME 04609 or send electronically. Applications must be received by March 5, 2010.

Need additional information about this or other internships in the park? Contact Park Ranger Sonya Berger by e-mail or by phone at 207-288-8803.

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