Exploring a consternation of birds by a Migratory Shorebird Project

I used to consider of birds as ethereal creatures, ethereal and carefree, with flattering feathers and flattering songs. Then we saw a film “Winged Migration” and came to know only how dirty and adventurous these poetic creatures unequivocally are.

The film uses bird’s-eye footage to request a fraudulent treks birds opposite a creation make any year—over a Himalayas, opposite oceans, into distracted storms, and by hunters’ lines-of-fire, and anyone who sees it can’t assistance though honour a animals and consternation some-more about birds’ adventuresome lives. 

Citizen scientists count dunlins each year with a Migratory Shorebird Project. Credit: Richard Casserly

Every fall, biologists and citizen scientists come together to try this kind of consternation by participating in a Migratory Shorebird Project, a largest concurrent consult of wintering shorebirds on a Pacific Coast of a Americas that spans 10 countries from Canada to Peru.

The plan was determined 5 years ago to build on identical surveys conducted during a 1990s and looks during class race trends and medium use to know how urbanization, meridian change, and other tellurian impacts impact shorebirds and their habitats.

Point Blue Conservation Science leads a general investigate and works with partners to report surveys from Nov by January. One of these partners, a San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory (SFBBO), is heading surveys around a South Bay on Monday, Dec 4, and is looking for volunteers to help.


Every year, some-more than 1 billion birds quit adult and down invisible sky paths famous as a Pacific Flyway to strech their tact and wintering homes. These medium stopovers and destinations embody all from Arctic tundra and Northwestern sleet forests to hollow wetlands and pleasant mangrove beaches.

Shorebirds in flight. Credit: Jean Halford

Many of these birds are shorebirds, a organisation of avian class that includes sandpipers, plovers, stilts, avocets, and other birds renowned by their slight bills, prolonged legs, pointy toes, and pulsing flocks.

Many shorebird class are suspicion to be disappearing and this consult helps scientists know that class are during many risk and what kinds of medium they need to thrive.

Last year biologists and volunteers surveyed 24 coastal estuaries and 66 routes of interior wetland medium via California, Oregon, and Washington. Surveys were also concurrent in 10 other countries, including Panama, Columbia, Ecuador, Peru, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Mexico, and Canada.

The data are stored during a California Avian Data Center, that has collection to let people to investigate bird race trends, class distribution, and contentment of birds by medium form or location.


Citizen scientists with a plan go by an online training, are reserved a specific area to monitor, follow a protocol, and enter information online.

Past volunteers in SFBBO’s surveys contend there are a accumulation of reasons they participate.

“I adore doing a surveys for many reasons,” pronounced Donna Nicoletti. “The many extraordinary depends for me occur when we suddenly come on vast groups of shorebirds in doubtful places in a marsh, like a year my birding partner and we counted a organisation of 975 willets on an archipelago in a tiny pool subsequent to an airport.”

Citizen scientists count whimbrels each year with a Migratory Shorebird Project. Credit: Jacqueline Deely

Some volunteers are encouraged by a challenge.

“It’s a fun morning, flattering intense, gripping records on all from a continue to a belligerent cover to a sight counts,” pronounced Pete Dunton. “Time and waves wait for no one, that adds some proclivity to keep moving.”

Others contend they proffer since it allows them to continue training about birds.

“I proffer to be improved sensitive and improved means to brand what kinds of birds are out in my possess backyard,” pronounced Vickie Eggert.  “I have a passion for birds and wish to see and learn some-more about them.”

They also proffer since they value to purpose scholarship has in ensuring bird conservation.

“I trust scholarship is a best approach to know a universe by providing insights into correct government by sensitive decisions,” pronounced Eric Goodill.

The information collected by SFBBO volunteers is generally critical to a success of a South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project, one of a largest wetland replacement projects on a west coast, pronounced Steve Rottenborn.

“I worked on a organisation formulation for a South Bay Salt Ponds Restoration Project and we know a significance of effective monitoring of shorebird numbers as a plan restores tidal habitats and enhances certain ponds for some-more complete use by shorebirds,” he said. “The annual Shorebird Survey is a many critical member of this shorebird monitoring, so we wish to do my partial to assist.”

Being a partial of something bigger themselves and assisting safeguard that there are healthy bird populations for a destiny is also a clever motivator for volunteering, pronounced Pat Gordon.

“I adore to be out there along a shoreline, examination (and counting!) a masses of shorebirds,” she said. “It creates me consider things will be all right, that we have finished a good pursuit safeguarding this many profitable habitat.”

Want some-more citizen science? Check out SciStarter’s Project Finder! With 1100+ citizen scholarship projects travelling each margin of research, charge and age group, there’s something for everyone!

  • “throughout California, Oregon, and Washington. Surveys were also concurrent in 10 other countries, including Panama, Columbia, Ecuador, Peru, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Mexico, and Canada”

    Texas, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore need not apply!

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Posted by on Nov 28 2017. Filed under Environment. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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