Citizen Scientists Needed to Count Goldeneyes

By November 13, 2014Science

In 2000, Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory began organizing an annual Barrow’s Goldeneye count in Colorado to monitor the wintering population of this species. Volunteer citizen scientists are needed to help with the 2014 count, set for Nov. 22 to Dec. 2. The protocol is simple – get out to as many lakes and reservoirs across the state as possible and count Barrow’s Goldeneyes!

Barrow's Goldeneyes

Barrow’s Goldeneyes by Bill Schmoker

Early winter is an exciting time for migrating waterfowl in Colorado. It is believed that the Barrow’s Goldeneyes found in Colorado in early winter could represent the breeding population for the state. Therefore, by tallying counts across the state at this time of year, we are informally monitoring the state’s population. It is not certain, however, if some of these Barrow’s Goldeneyes are migrating from the north. The nearest known breeding population to Colorado is in Wyoming at Yellowstone National Park.

From Nov. 22 to Dec. 2, 2013, a total of 247 Barrow’s Goldeneyes were reported across the state by volunteer citizen scientists. The average yearly count from 2000 to 2012 was 205, so we were well above average last year.

If interested in helping with the count, please contact RMBO’s Jason Beason at 970-510-3117 or jason.beason@rmbo.org. No prior experience is necessary.