Why monitor birds?
Monitoring provides a profile of past and current bird populations that lets researchers see which species are expanding, which are remaining and which are declining. This gives us a basis for intelligent choices about habitat preservation and management. At least three major studies will use this year's monitoring data, along with local land managers.
- People willing to make a commitment for several years.
- People able to identify most of the birds encountered by sight and sound.
Who shouldn't monitor
- People who have no interest in sites or habitats.
- People not able to identify the birds by sight and sound. You don't have to be
an expert at identification to be a monitor, but monitoring isn't appropriate for beginners.
What monitoring involves
- Work with the Bird Conservation Network and land manager to identify your site(s).
- Introduce yourself to the land manager.
- Survey site, lay out transect and points, and determine location by latitude/longitude coordinates.
- Visit the site at least twice during the breeding season (June), and optimally six or more times per year.
- Collect data on numbers of birds observed by species.
- Enter data into eBird/BCN* and forward it to the land manager.
*eBird/BCN is a Web site that allows users to record and keep track of their Greater Chicagoland bird sightings.
How to get started monitoring
Contact the Bird Conservation Network's Monitoring Committee (Judy Pollock or Lee Ramsey).
You can explore the results of this monitoring and learn more about the requirements from the BCN Home Page.
About the Bird Conservation Network (BCN)
The Bird Conservation Network has been promoting bird conservation and preserving and restoring bird habitat in the Chicago Region for more than a decade. BCN is a coalition of about 18 organizations (bird clubs, Audubon chapters, ornithological societies and conservation organizations) sharing an interest in the conservation of birds. See the Bird Conservation Network Web site for more information.