After six years, nine states and over 200 surveys, IMBCR technician Mike McCloy shares his perspective on the importance of counting birds to conservation, the challenges and joys of being a field tech, and how he (and the landscapes he traverses) have changed.
For over ten years, private landowners have been granting permission for Bird Conservancy to conduct bird surveys on their land. These partners in conservation enable us to learn about bird populations across the whole landscape, beyond public lands. Equally important are the lasting friendships that often form between our staff and the landowners as they bond over birds, landscapes and the stewardship values we share.
Nineteen Mennonite students from Cuauhtémoc recently joined us in the field and experienced a day in the life of bird biologists. Representing a vital piece of the conservation puzzle in Chihuahua, their visit opens new pathways for awareness, conversation and collaboration to help grassland birds on Mexico’s wintering grounds.
Barr Lake’s fall banding station had an incredible season with 1,902 individual birds caught last year—more than any year in over a decade! The station celebrates another chapter of educating visitors of all ages about the importance of birds in our lives, while also contributing to our understanding of bird distribution, population levels, and conservation needs at key migration stopover habitat.
This year marks the 119th year for the Audubon Christmas Bird Count (CBC), where volunteers across the country came out to add to a century of community science data. Bird Conservancy of the Rockies helped organize two local CBCs at Barr Lake and Fort Collins, and we are excited to provide this report from the field!
Black Swifts are thought to forage long distances from their nest sites, but their basic movement ecology is unknown. Knowledge about daily foraging routes and distances will help identify flight patterns, foraging hotspots and habitat relationships—critical to understanding the conservation needs of this enigmatic species.
How many birds can you accurately count in six minutes using sound as well as sight? The ability to correctly recognize birds by ear is a vital skill for our teams, one that takes a lot of effort to master. IMBCR technician Beth Raboin shares how she uses context and associations—and a dash of baseball—as an aid to her auditory memory.