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Bird Watching

Washington Department of Fish And Wildlife

600 Capitol Way North

Olympia, WA 98501-1091

Help us all learn more about local birds with “eBird.”

Backyard (and other) birdwatchers in the Pacific Northwest can now enter their bird observations into eBird Northwest ( http://ebird.org/content/nw/ ), a newly launched regional system of information sharing about birds. Your entries help Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and other wildlife biologists better understand bird species locations, population densities, seasonal movement patterns, and conservation needs.

Your entries and those of fellow local birdwatchers also help each other learn where birds are, and are not, in real time. This regional portal of the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology’s international eBird program is sponsored by WDFW, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Region 1 (Pacific), the Klamath Bird Observatory, and other local conservation partners.

eBird Northwest contributes to nationwide bird conservation priorities outlined by the North American Bird Conservation Initiative ( http://www.nabci-us.org/ ). An eBird Northwest Content Committee is generating articles, notes, and other tools of interest to birders and conservation practitioners in the Pacific Northwest (Washington, Oregon, northern California, British Columbia).

Regularly check the website http://ebird.org/content/nw/ through the holidays to find updated birding hot spots to plan your outings with family and friends, and of course where you can participate in the Dec. 14 – Jan. 5 Christmas Bird Counts (or see how those counts went after the fact!) 

A Citizen Science Committee is working with partners to develop relevant, local projects that are also linked or hosted through eBird Northwest. These projects address specific data needs and encourage participants to contribute data that will inform conservation. WDFW’s citizen science coordinator, Wendy Connally, (Wendy.Connally@dfw. wa.gov , 360-902-2695), notes two such projects underway now in Washington: The Puget Sound Seabird Survey (PSSS) is a citizen-science survey managed by Seattle Audubon that empowers volunteer birdwatchers to gather valuable data on wintering seabird populations in Puget Sound and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Teams create a snapshot of seabird density on more than 2,400 acres of nearshore saltwater habitat. It is the only land-based, multimonth survey in the Puget Sound region.

The Sagebrush Songbird Survey is a community science project focused on sagebrush songbird conservation in the arid landscape and expansive beauty of the Columbia Plateau of eastern Washington. Three point count target species – Sagebrush Sparrow, Sage Thrasher, and Brewer’s Sparrow – function as “umbrella” species for other birds with similar sagebrush and shrub steppe habitat associations. This project is managed by Washington Audubon and its Lower Columbia Basin and Yakima chapters.

WDFW is using Watchable Wildlife funds from personalized license plates and working with our partners at USFWS and the Klamath Observatory to provide more opportunities for citizen participation in birding and conservation data collection.

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