Inside Region 3
Midwest Region
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This Mourning Warbler was observed singing and foraging right next to the vehicle during a BBS route in Michigan in 2012 /USFWS.

This Mourning Warbler was observed singing and foraging right next to the vehicle during a BBS route in Michigan in 2012 /USFWS.

The Breeding Bird Survey Needs You

Each spring more than 2,500 skilled amateur birders and professional biologists volunteer to participate in the North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS).  Since 1965, these volunteers have contributed to one of the most widely used bird monitoring datasets in North America.

In 2009, the Midwest Coordinated Bird Monitoring Partnership began a campaign to fill all vacant BBS routes in our region.  Each year, the number of vacant routes has decreased, and I challenge us all to work to cut this number in half by June 1, 2014.

To that end, I ask all of you to consider adopting a vacant route near you, adding a route if you already run one, and getting the word out to your friends and neighbors.

As of today, we have 73 vacant routes in our region.  I have broken these out by state and provided a point of contact below:

Requirements for participation are:

  • Access to suitable transportation to complete a survey
  • Good hearing and eyesight
  • The ability to identify all breeding birds in the area by sight and sound. Knowledge of bird songs is extremely important, because most birds counted on these surveys are singing males
  • New BBS participants must also successfully complete the BBS Methodology Training Program before their data will be used in any BBS analyses. The training program is available from the national BBS offices and the state, provincial, and territorial coordinators
  • The intention to run a route for at least 4-5 years. Data from routes run only once or twice by an observer are not nearly as useful as longer consecutive surveys by the same observer

By Katie Koch

Marquette Biological Station

Breeding Bird Survey routes traverse very diverse landscapes throughout North America.  This route includes a segment right along the shoreline of Lake Superior in Keweenaw Bay/USFWS.

Breeding Bird Survey routes traverse very diverse landscapes throughout North America.  This route includes a segment right along the shoreline of Lake Superior in Keweenaw Bay/USFWS.

The Breeding Bird Survey consists of 50 stops along a driven route.  At each stop, an observer counts all birds seen or heard within a quarter-mile radius for three minutes/USFWS.

The Breeding Bird Survey consists of 50 stops along a driven route.  At each stop, an observer counts all birds seen or heard within a quarter-mile radius for three minutes/USFWS.

 

Last updated: April 10, 2014