Washington County Greenspace Bird Surveys: Portland Audubon and Clean Water Services are partnering on a series of surveys to understand how bird communities respond to habitat restoration and enhancement at Washington County greenspaces. If you love to bird—no matter your skill level—consider helping with surveys at Cook Park in Tigard, Fernhill Wetlands in Forest Grove, and PCC Rock Creek Greenspace in Bethany (this last site is currently closed due to COVID-19, but we are hopeful it will open for surveys this summer!). Use a simple, eBird-based protocol to log your observations, and help us better understand bird life in urban greenspaces and how restoration and management efforts support our feathered neighbors.
Brown Pelican Survey: This project is a joint effort of the West Coast Audubon network, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and other partners. The goal is to conduct biannual surveys to help define distribution and abundance of Brown Pelicans and track shifts in population structure of this bird of conservation concern. This project is helping inform our efforts to protect forage fish species like anchovy—a key prey base for pelicans and other seabirds. In Oregon we survey at 18 historic roost sites, from Clatsop Spit on the north coast to the Chetco River mouth near the California border. This year the survey will be on May 15. If you like pelicans and spending time at the ocean, consider helping out.
Oregon Black Oystercatcher Project: The oystercatcher is an iconic bird of coastal rocky habitats and also a species of conservation concern. Since 2015 Portland Audubon and partners, including coastal Audubon chapters, Friends groups, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, have been monitoring oystercatcher nests along the entire Oregon coast. Findings from this monitoring have been included in an inventory now informing efforts to protect important rocky habitats from Ecola Point to Cape Blanco.
Plover Patrol: We partner with Oregon State Parks to help monitor this species at four Snowy Plover Management Areas on the north coast. The Western Snowy Plover is listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, but its population is rebounding through intensive management efforts. In recent years, plovers have returned to nest at some north coast sites where they hadn’t nested in decades. We need your help to conduct presence/absence surveys, resight color-banded birds, and monitor nests!
Project IBIS: Help Portland Audubon and our partners, including the Harney Basin Wetlands Collaborative, better understand how ranchlands near Malheur National Wildlife Refuge are supporting birds. Over the past several years, conservationists have been working with ranchers on replacing aging flood-irrigation structures with newer structures that are expected to increase waterbird habitat. Follow our simple survey protocol next time you eBird one of Oregon’s premier birding destinations and contribute to conservation!
Visit Portland Audubon’s Community Science page to learn more about these and other projects. Contact Joe Liebezeit to get involved in the Portland metro and coastal projects (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Teresa Wicks for Project IBIS (email@example.com). Upcoming trainings are on our events calendar. We record most trainings, so if you miss one we can share the recording.