Raptor Nest Surveys

This is the only file you need  (opens in Google Earth)
– – -> Google Earth file (.kmz)< – – –



I put together this information after spending some time lost in the woods, trying to figure out where I was from topo maps or verbal directions. Many times when I came home I realized I was one valley or ridge over from where I needed to be. Some sites had been cut, others built up, and some haven’t had birds for decades. However, using historical nesting sites is a great place to start a search.

I have personally used this data to put a single waypoint in my GPS, hike there, play a call, get a response, and find an active nest in the cascades from a previous record from 1994 (18 years prior). To me, that is amazing!!! They have since nested there in 2012, 2013,and 2014. I hope to see them again for a 4th consecutive year. Another nest 30 miles to the east has been occupied in 2014 and is active again (2015) with a previous record of 1994 also; there must have been some people looking in the 90’s 😉 Of course, I have also found a bunch of old nests. But in the seemingly endless country out on the Olympic Peninsula, an old nest feels like a win to me! Using GE imagery you can scout out whether the forest has been cut or if there has been a forest fire like in the Swakane canyon before driving. Historical imagery is available on some maps to compare forest structure over decades. You can also use the data to plot your track over actual terrain using elevation data and print the map out to have a hard copy. There are not a lot of people looking anymore but for those that are I hope this information is helpful and offers a road to collaborate. I would love to hear your adventures or updates!

If you would like to share this page with another person please ask and/or inform Dan or I, Thank you. It helps to know who has access and where people are planning on searching so others don’t go to the same spot and waste time, and to share information. Last year it worked well. I will post updated information and pictures about active nests reported to me in 2014 and update the google earth file for you guys. 🙂 I also need some updates from people about NE Wa nests. I would be happy to keep some locations private if needed.

Watch Intro Video

Play .WMV instead of Youtube

This video is rough and shows some of the earlier data but it is enough to get the general idea. I plan on updating it at some point. And to show how you can batch import files from a spreadsheet to GE.


The Google Earth File is really the best way to view the data! However, I have included some embeded maps below so you can view a section of the data on your cellphone or on a computer without Google Earth installed. If you have a slow internet connection it may take some time to download… let me know if it crashes your browser (I can link to external pages instead).

You can even see a timelapse “show” of the spots by double clicking on the “by year” folder and pressing play in the top left. GE timeslider


Google Earth Plugin



Fullscreen window


-Drag the right toggle to see specific Date;


-Drag the left toggle to see a range of dates .


(i.e. since the beginning, 5 years apart, etc.)

***To see all sites/dates at once:***

-drag the two toggles as far to the left and right as possible.


Keyboard navigation

Command Windows/Linux
Move left Left arrow Moves the viewer in the direction of the arrow.
Move right Right arrow Moves the viewer in the direction of the arrow.
Move up Up arrow Moves the viewer in the direction of the arrow.
Move down Down arrow Moves the viewer in the direction of the arrow.
Rotate clockwise Shift + left arrow Rotates the view clockwise. The earth spins counter-clockwise.
Rotate counter-clockwise Shift + right arrow Rotates the view counter-clockwise.
Show/hide Overview window CTRL + M Displays or closes overview window.
Tilt up Shift + left mouse button + drag down, Shift + down arrow Tilts the viewer toward “horizon” view.
Tilt down Shift + left mouse button + drag up, Shift + up arrow Tilts the viewer toward “top-down” view.
Look CTRL + left mouse button + drag Perspective points in another direction, as if you are turning your head up, down, left or right.
Zoom in Scroll wheel, + key, PgUp key Zooms the viewer in. Tip: to use the ‘Page Up’ key, make sure ‘Num Lock’ on your keyboard is off.
Zoom out Scroll wheel, – key (both keyboard and numpad), PgDn key Zooms the viewer out. Tip: to use the ‘Page Down’ key, make sure ‘Num Lock’ on your keyboard is off.
Zoom + automatic tilt Right mouse button + drag up or down Zooms the viewer in and automatically tilts your view as you approach ground level.
Stop current motion Spacebar When the viewer is in motion, stops movement
Reset view to “north – up” n Rotates view so that view is ‘n‘orth-up.
Reset tilt to “top-down” view u Resets angle to view scene in “top-down” or “‘u‘p” mode.
Reset tilt and compass view to default r R‘esets angle to view “top-down” and rotates to “north-up” view. Use this feature to orient the earth in the center of the viewer.


Tip – Use the ALT key in combination with most of these keystrokes to move more slowly in the indicated direction.


This Google Earth plugin only seems to work with Firefox or Chrome. After installing I think you need to restart the browser in order for it to be loaded. Do it, it is worth it.


If you only have Internet Explorer I would suggest broadening your horizons or downloading Google Earth and using the .kmz file.


You can try using IE and enable compatibility by going to -> Tools-> Compatibility view settings-> Add-> Close.However this screws up all of the nifty collapsing lists I have going on here…

Google Maps

View Alll Goshawks in a larger mapGoogle Maps only shows some waypoints at a time…

specific areas

W Cascades


E Cascades



Olympics Historical


Goshawks GPS Olympics






Here are some samples of calls I have used:If you have any that you would like to share please contact me.


Here is a calendar that shows some recent extrapolated information about timing for raptor nesting in Washington


I would love to be able to do this with Goshawks this next spring->

Click here for a better quality video (.wmv 600 Mb) and remember to make it full screen or choose HD quality on Youtube.

I put up some remote cameras last year and would love to continue this experience. I would love to get a weatherproof camera system, with a wireless router and a cellphone card to take pictures remotely, stored on site external HD, and have live view, with natteries charged by solar panels…If you would like to help:

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