Portland Audubon Backyard BioBlitz

Welcome to the Portland Audubon Backyard BioBlitz! With so many people sheltering in place and paying more attention to their yards and neighborhoods, we are seeing a huge increase in people reporting their wildlife sightings and making requests for wildlife information. This may be a reflection of the fact that people have more time to watch wildlife at home or that more wildlife is out and about on our quieted landscapes…or perhaps a combination of both. We thought this would be a great opportunity to learn more about the wildlife that shares our urban landscape!

What is a BioBlitz: A BioBlitz is a survey of the living species within a geographic area over a specific period of time.

Geographic Area: The geographic focus of the Backyard Bioblitz is the Portland Metro Region including the City of Vancouver, Washington. 

Anyone Can Participate: The Backyard BioBlitz is open to anybody or any age level or skill level within the geographic focus area. We particularly welcome kids and families! We want to hear about the wildlife that you are seeing—your information does not have to be complete or perfect. Identify whatever you can and let us know what you saw!

Anna's Hummingbird on Red Flowering Currant, photo by Audrey Addison

How does the Backyard BioBlitz work? 

Every Tuesday through June, we are asking people to track and report the wildlife that they see around their homes and neighborhoods. We have created an easy to fill out Google form with check boxes for birds, mammals, and insects.  

  • Wildlife observations can be made anytime between 12 a.m. and 11:59 p.m. on Tuesdays. You can observe as formally or as informally as you want and for as long or short as you want.
  • You can participate as often as you like-just do it on one Tuesday or come back every week.
  • Observations should be limited to your home and the block on which you live. Please do not send us observations from Parks or Natural Areas. We are looking for information on wildlife on the developed landscape.
  • We have listed common birds and other wildlife species, but you don’t need to identify everything to the exact species. Log your observations to the level of detail you are able to confidently recognize. Writing “songbird” or “hawk” or “butterfly” is perfectly okay!
  • Likewise, this list is limited to about 40 common urban species, but you may see other critters as well! Please write them in on the lines marked “other.”
  • Please fill out the form and send it to us within 24 hours of making your observations.
  • Once you fill out the form, you will be automatically enrolled in the program and your data will be added and incorporated into the project. You can participate as frequently or infrequently as you like from there on out.

Backyard BioBlitz Reports

How will this help Portland Audubon?

We have amazing wildlife in the Portland Metro Region. This information will help us understand better how, when and where different species are using our urban and suburban landscapes. That information helps us to provide better advocacy for wildlife protection. 

What is in it for you?

In addition to knowing that you will be providing important data to help support local wildlife protection, you will also get the following:

  • Weekly email updates about what people were seeing the prior week and what you might expect to see in the coming week
  • Opportunities to learn more about local wildlife and get wildlife-related questions answered
  • For Kids, 15 years old and younger, a certificate for having participated in the Portland Audubon Backyard BioBlitz.
  • The chance to participate in a really fun, weekly nature-based activity!

We are also starting a Backyard BioBlitz Facebook group page that you can join (joining the page is not necessary to participate in the BioBlitz). This page can be used to post information and photos of wildlife you are seeing in your neighborhood and ask questions. Portland Audubon naturalists will try to answer as many questions as possible and will also post information about upcoming opportunities to learn about local wildlife and ways to help local wildlife.

For More Information: Contact Bob Sallinger, Conservation Director