Our Typical Volunteer Days

We volunteers spent the first full day being trained, first at the headquarters with training manuals and instructions on objectives and procedures, then in the afternoon in the field with our gear.  Here we are with our supervisor, Tom Snetsinger

With all the details it was easy to forget something so a sign on the volunteer’s door helped us remember the main thing.  Perhaps it should have said "locate" since the bird had been found in the Cache River.  The full-time staff had their own sign on their door to help them remember the next most important thing.

Our routine kept us pretty busy.  Most days went like this;
Get up at 5:00, dress, eat, load batteries from chargers to devices and get in the van at 5:45.
Get out of the van, walk off-trail a mile or so in the dark using flashlight or headlamp, compass and GPS waypoint to a designated unmarked spot.
Sit until about an hour after sunrise watching, listening, and filming anything noteworthy.
Alternate moving and sitting within a mile or two wherever appropriate until around 3PM.
Use GPS and compass to find assigned unmarked location to watch in the late afternoon.
Sit, listen and watch until 15 minutes after sundown.  Film anything significant.
Use compass, flashlight or headlamp, and GPS to find way back to transportation.
Attend meeting with supervisor on sites observed.
Enter data and images into Cornell computer.
Eat and fix next day’s lunch
Enter next day’s assignments into GPS, put batteries in chargers.
Sleep.
Shower and do laundry on weekends

My time was spent mostly in the White River Refuge.  The following pictures and sounds give a limited feel for the beauty and diversity of this area.