Bitterroot Valley, Montana //
The Raptor View Research Institute in western Montana is building a multi-year project on the Bald and Golden Eagles that overwinter in the narrow sliver of the Rocky Mountains known as the Bitterroot Valley. Tagging individual bird takes a lot of effort, however, plus a fair amount of luck—and the team can trap only a fraction of the raptors that roam the valley.
In 2017, the Bitterroot Winter Eagle Project devised a creative way to log each and every visitor lured by the roadkill bait: Build a volunteer army. Over that winter, about 30 tracts of private property hosted carcass stations, each equipped with a motion-detecting camera. Through the community science site zooniverse.org, thousands of people across the globe are helping classify the species captured in hundreds of thousands of wildlife-triggered photos.
Shot on assignment for Audubon Magazine.