Malheur Fall Double O Shorebird Survey

Malheur National Wildlife Refuge | September 1 – 4 

Join Portland Audubon and USFWS staff in supporting the effort to survey shorebirds in the intermountain west. We’ll survey the playas of the Double O for fall migrating and staging shorebirds. This survey is part of a project organized by Point Blue Bird Observatory and National Audubon, with support from the USFWS. Camping will be available. Camping gear will be available for participants to use during this event. All of these areas require hiking of at least 4 miles in often soft/squishy dune and playa habitat. There are no bathrooms available during this survey.

Partners: Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, Point Blue Bird Observatory, National Audubon, USFWS

An American Avocet stands in grass with its wings outstretched.
American Avocet, photo by Scott Carpenter

About the Survey

  • Survey Instructions: Basic survey instructions are available including maps of survey areas.
  • When: September 1 – 4 (and spring survey is happening May 12-14)
  • Where: Survey sites are all in closed areas of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. These sites include Stinking Lake, Harney Lake, and Mud Lake. Surveys may also happen at adjacent playa and spring habitat on BLM land depending on capacity.
  • Time Commitment: Four days, 1-2 for travel and 1-2 for surveys
  • Reporting: Completed shorebird datasheets will be provided after surveys are finalized. Datasheets will be collected from Team Leaders and submitted to the Malheur NWR wildlife and Portland Audubon biologists.

 

Volunteer Requirements

  • Trainings:  Orientation to the protocol and shorebird ID will be provided prior to surveying. Volunteers will work on a team.
  • Bird ID Skills: Must be able to identify Snowy Plovers and other shorebirds, including peeps. Team Leaders will be experienced with shorebird ID and will be familiar with survey sites and protocol.
  • Equipment: Must have own binoculars (some may be available from Malheur NWR with notice ahead of time). Some scopes will be provided. You are welcome to bring your own scope.
  • Field Conditions: All surveys occur in areas that do not have driving access. Because of this, most surveys have a hike-in/out in addition to the walking survey covering up to 10 miles on uneven, often sandy, terrain (although less than 5 miles is possible). Please indicate what distances you’re comfortable with walking on the survey (click on the “view more” button in the sign-up above).
  • Transportation: Transportation to Malheur NWR will be your responsibility. Refuge vehicles will be available for Team Leaders to drive participants to survey sites.

 

Contact

For questions contact Teresa Wicks, Eastern Oregon Field Coordinator, at twicks@audubonportland.org