Brown Pelican Surveys
Oregon Coast-wide | Spring & Fall
Important changes due to COVID-19: Brown Pelican Surveys are currently moving forward under the following guidelines:
- Only conduct surveys on your own or with members of your immediate household.
- Only volunteers from the local area on the coast will be recruited (all volunteers from the Willamette Valley and elsewhere from the interior are being asked to not assist at this time)
- If members of the public are encountered during the survey, all social distancing policies will be adhered (remain at least 6 feet away, bring sanitizer/disinfectant with you and clean your hands before and after your survey)
- We will not actively recruit new volunteers at this point and will mostly rely on experienced volunteers. We will not be promoting the project or posting social media of monitoring sessions. Unlike in previous years we will not have volunteers do any formal outreach to the public until the situation improves.
- Any sites that are currently closed (state parks) will not be visited for surveys
These plans may change. Please contact Joe Liebezeit at email@example.com with questions.
Although the Brown Pelican was removed from the Endangered Species List in 2009, new threats are challenging this bird’s survival. In recent years this species has suffered huge nest failures on its breeding grounds off southern and Baja California, which is thought to be tied to declines in their main food source, forage fish (primarily anchovies).
The goal of these surveys is to help us define the distribution and abundance of Brown Pelicans and track shifts in population structure to help us better protect this majestic bird.
This project also informs our larger efforts to protect forage fish species that are vital prey for seabirds, marine mammals and commercially important fish like salmon.
Partners: Audubon California, Audubon Washington, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Conservación de islas
About the Survey
- Survey Instructions: Please read protocol for detailed instructions on how to conduct the survey
- When: This survey is conducted two days each year: a spring survey in May and a fall survey in September and are always on a Saturday.
- Where: The survey is conducted from 18 pre-selected sites in Oregon that will be assigned to you although you are welcome to ask to survey at a site of your choice. You can do the survey alone or with a team.
- Time Commitment: The survey is conducted during a 4 hour window prior to sundown – in Oregon during the survey dates this will generally be between 5-9 p.m.
- Reporting: Enter your data on a data sheet while at the site and afterward enter into the online database.
- Trainings: No training necessary. The protocol provides detailed instructions
- Birding skills: Must be able to visually identify Brown Pelicans and ideally age birds as juvenile or adult.
- Equipment: Must have your own binoculars and/or spotting scope. Some sites require a spotting scope.
- Field conditions: Surveys are done from a stationary location and do not require hiking or extensive physical exertion
- Transportation to and from the site is your responsibility
For questions contact Joe Liebezeit at firstname.lastname@example.org.