CITIZEN SCIENCEHelping with regular bird counts and surveys are ways that citizen birdwatchers can contribute to scientific understanding of birds. Over the long term, data from counts and surveys helps biologists to understand bird behavior and population dynamics. This can lead to better, science-based management.
Kalmiopsis Audubon members can participate in several bird counts and other bird monitoring activities year round.
Great Backyard Bird Count (February 15-18, 2013) —Birders from across the nation contribute sightings to create a real-time snap shot of where birds are. Check out their website (click link) to learn how to participate in this year's count. It's fun to get sightings from Curry County on the national map!
For Skilled Birders--
North American Migration Counts
Spring Migration Count- 2d Saturday in May
Fall Migration Count- 3d Saturday in September
The count compiler is
Diane Cavaness. Her address is: birder_1@ charter.net. She can e-mail
you the form to send in your observations.
Christmas Bird Count
The next Christmas Bird Count will be held on Dec. 23, 2012 —a wonderfully stormy time to bird. For more information about the Christmas Bird Count, contact Jim Rogers at 332-2555.
For results of past Christmas Bird Counts, click here.
For a 2009 National Audubon Society report based on 40 years of Christmas Bird Count Data, click here.
BLACK OYSTERCATCHER SURVEY
The Coastwide Black Oystercatcher Survey is usually held in May.
The Black Oystercatcher is a relatively rare species with only a few hundred individuals in Oregon and about 11,000 individuals range-wide. According to Liz Kelly, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist, “That’s why, it is really important to monitor this species every year.”
“We are very concerned about the species because of its small population size, limited range and habitat threats. Nests accessible at low tide may be especially vulnerable to disturbance by humans and their pets. These nests often fail, likely due to native or non-native predators such as ravens, raccoon, fox and feral cats,” said Kelly, who helped coordinate last year’s surveys. “But even off-shore nests and chicks may be vulnerable to river otters and avian predators such as bald eagles and gulls.”
“We rely on many dedicated volunteers to conduct surveys and monitor nests,” said Elise Elliott-Smith of U.S. Geological Survey Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center in Corvallis who has taken the lead in studying the reproductive success of oystercatchers in Oregon. Last May, 52 people turned out to survey 103 locations along the coast.
“These surveys are very important,” said Peg Boulay, ODFW sensitive species coordinator who participated in the project. “Prior to 2005, we didn’t have any good data on where oystercatchers were reproducing and where they are having success.” When priority sites are identified, it’s possible to minimize disturbance during critical times of the year.
Black oystercatchers are a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Species of Concern. They are counted in the spring, when the monogamous birds return to the same nesting territories to pair with the same mate. Survey results from 2005-2007 are available on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Newport Field Office Web site: http://www.fws.gov/oregonfwo/Species/Data/BlackOystercatcher/default.asp
To help with the 2012 Black Oystercatcher Survey, please contact Elise Elliott-Smith at
COASST (Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team) is a citizen science project based out of the University of Washington that is dedicated to involving volunteers in the collection of high-quality data on the status and trends of coastal resources (mainly seabirds) for the purposes of science, informed resource management, and conservation. Our volunteers systematically count and identify the birds that wash ashore along the beaches in Washington, Oregon, California and Alaska. Volunteers need NO experience with birds, just a commitment to survey a specific beach (1 km) each month.
For more information about how you can help, contact volunteer coordinator Annie Woods at