We are always seeking new volunteers for MOON!

There are routes throughout the state (see MOON routes map). Most routes consist of 10 stops, each a mile apart.  At each stop, volunteers are asked to get out of their vehicles and listen passively for owls and nightjars for 6 minutes recording individuals detected within each minute of the 6-minute block.  All randomly chosen routes are located along forested habitat, so it is likely you will be able to enjoy other nocturnal vocalizations while out. Volunteers are asked to monitor their routes at least one time each year, but two times is optimal.

The MOON protocol and data form are available for volunteers to download through the MOON website, or can be emailed to you directly if you contact beveroth@illinois.edu

*** Also, while we realize not all volunteers will have the resources to broadcast bird calls (playback), we do encourage those that do to play calls for both Eastern Screech-owl and Barn Owl at the end of each 6-minute block during stops.

Some things we would like our volunteers to have before monitoring are:

  • Good hearing and ability to detect owls and nightjars vocally (Bird Calls)
  • A vehicle to drive the route
  • Commitment to survey their selected route each year

Finally, because these routes are monitored in the evening, we ask that monitors not go out alone. Taking another monitor or friend with you is always a good idea.