Seabird Colony Monitoring

Cape Perpetua & Cape Falcon | June through August

We are offering two virtual trainings for this project: June 6 (10 a.m.-noon) and June 13 (10 a.m.-noon).  Please contact Frances Buchanan at asopcoastalbirds@gmail.com to RSVP to the training you’d like to attend.

Important changes due to COVID-19: Seabird Nest Colony Monitoring Project 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, etc.) will not be visited for surveys. These plans may change. Please contact Joe Liebezeit at jliebezeit@audubonportland.org and Frances Buchanan at asopcoastalbirds@gmail.com with questions.

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Get a chance to see fuzzy seabird chicks while monitoring seabird nesting colonies in two of Oregon’s five Marine Reserve/Marine Protected Area complexes! Oregon’s marine reserves are “underwater parks” that prohibit any extractive uses (e.g. fishing) in order to conserve marine habitats and biodiversity. Marine Protected Areas allow for some extractive uses.

This project is providing baseline information on Oregon’s seabird population adjacent to two of Oregon’s Marine Reserves at Cape Perpetua and Cape Falcon enabling a better understanding of how marine reserve protections may affect birds. In addition, this project promotes wider recognition of Oregon’s marine reserves and seabird conservation through local community participation, outreach and education.

Partners: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Oregon State University, Friends of Cape Falcon, Haystack Rock Awareness Program, Sea Lion Caves

Common Murre, photo by Kimon Berlin

About the Survey

  • Survey instructions: Please read protocols (links below) for detailed instructions on how to conduct the surveys at each site.
  • When: Colony monitoring is conducted weekly at each site from early June through August. A regular monitoring day will be determined in early June for each site based on volunteer availability.
  • Where: Surveys are conducted by a team of volunteers with one project leader present.
  • Time Commitment: A typical monitoring visit takes 2-4 hours starting between 9-10 a.m.
  • Reporting: Project leader or appointed volunteer will record data for the monitoring group.

 

Volunteer Requirements

  • Trainings: We provide non-mandatory in-person trainings in both Yachats and Cannon Beach in early June. We will alert you to training dates after you sign up. One project leader will be on site for each survey to provide on-site training if needed.
  • Birding skills: No experience required but you must have good attention to detail and patience.
  • Equipment: Audubon will provide at least two spotting scopes at each survey. Please bring your own binoculars or spotting scope if you have one. Colony maps and data forms are provided.
  • Field conditions: Depending on the site you may have to walk a short distance on well-maintained trails to access the survey site. You must be OK looking through scopes for long durations from one location and deal with occasionally windy weather.  Must be OK interacting with the public.
  • Transportation to and from the survey site(s) is your responsibility.

 

Contact

For questions contact Joe Liebezeit at jliebezeit@audubonportland.org.