This photo journal highlights the most recent winter field season monitoring grassland birds in the Chihuahuan Desert in Mexico. Teaching telemetry, radio tracking Grasshopper Sparrows and assessing predation/mortality rates are all a major part of this program.
The Integrated Monitoring in Bird Conservation Regions (IMBCR) program is one of the largest bird monitoring programs in North America, covering a work area of 450,545 square miles across all or parts of 13 western states in the U.S. 2016 will see a major expansion of IMBCR in partnership with Playa Lakes Joint Venture. Growth of the program complements monitoring efforts in the Northern Great Plains and promises encounters with even more bird species.
Not so long ago, seeing a bald eagle in Colorado might have felt like a once in a lifetime event. Today, thanks to dedicated conservation efforts and continual monitoring, the population of these majestic birds is recovering. In this post, Citizen Science Coordinator Matt Smith explains why the future looks bright for Bald Eagles.
Bird Conservancy of the Rockies (formerly Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory) and partners wrapped up their seventh season of surveys under the Integrated Monitoring in Bird Conservation Regions program, one of the largest breeding bird monitoring programs in North America. Seasonal biologist David Kramer offers highlights from a wet, snowy survey season.
The Bird Conservancy (formerly Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory) collaborated with a graduate student at Oxford University to study the impacts of natural gas well pads and their associated roads on the distribution of sagebrush-obligate songbirds. The student, Max Mutter, writes about the experiences leading up to the study and shares a key result.
The Bald Eagle nesting season is in full swing in the Rockies. Citizen scientists with Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory are busy monitoring nesting activity across Colorado. Outreach biologist Jeff Birek reports that volunteers with Bald Eagle Watch have already observed at least 20 eaglets in nests across the state, including two at Barr Lake.
Despite sub-zero temperatures, 34 volunteers took part in this year’s Christmas Bird Count at Barr Lake. Count compiler Chuck Hundertmark offers a report on birds observed that day, including new highs for three species and a new bird for the Barr Lake count.
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 this year’s count, set for Nov. 22 to Dec. 2, 2014. The protocol is simple – get out to as many lakes and reservoirs across the state as possible and count Barrow’s Goldeneyes!
Black Swifts are at risk to the effects of climate change. As our atmosphere heats up and viable Black Swift breeding habitat dwindles, proactive conservation of this species is critical. A team of researchers is working to conserve the North American population of Black Swifts, conducting research across the West to better understand the “coolest bird.”
This spring, Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory began conducting bird population monitoring surveys along the Niobrara National Scenic River in Nebraska. Outreach Biologist Jeff Birek was fortunate enough to land that area as one of his survey locales this summer. Jeff reports on the impacts a recent fire along the Niobrara River has had on birds and provides a species list from the summer.