Vermont Center for Ecostudies
- June 1–June 30
This is an ongoing Citizen Science Experience. Contact the sponsoring organization to join in.
Mountain Birdwatch is a long-term monitoring program for Bicknell’s Thrush and other high-elevation forest birds in the Adirondacks, Catskills, Green and White Mountains, and Maine. Mountain Birdwatch data have been used for conservation to: establish protective management zones in the Green Mountain and White Mountain National Forests, appropriately site wind turbines, radio towers, and ski trails, evaluate new Important Bird Areas, and develop conservation strategies for vulnerable species such as the Bicknell's Thrush. Volunteers conduct surveys on mornings throughout June. Hike a scenic mountain trail, enjoy the sunrise, and count birds for conservation! Beginner to experienced birders are welcome.
Is to shed light on the population trends of montane birds in the northeastern US through the combined power and action of community scientists and conservation biologists.
Where does the project take place?
Along more than 100 high-elevation hiking trails in New York (Catskills and Adirondacks), Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. The locations of the sampling locations can be observed on an interactive map here: https://vtecostudies.org/projects/mountains/mountain-birdwatch/participate/
When can volunteers participate?
Surveys can take place on any date in June with favorable weather (no rain and light-to-no wind).
Is training needed to participate?
Yes. Observers must be able to reliably identify the 10 bird species and red squirrel that all Mountain Birdwatch participates monitor. Most observations are made by ear, so training should be largely focused on learning the vocalizations of these 11 species.
Who is this project ideal for?
Any hiker who likes to bird, or any birder who likes to hike. Folks as young as 12 years old have successfully adopted Mountain Birdwatch routes. Because mountain weather in June is hard to predict, participants should have some flexibility in their schedule (e.g., several open weekends in June) so that they can plan their survey within a period of favorable weather. Although only one person actually counts the birds and squirrels, many Mountain Birdwatchers bring family and friends with them on their adventure for safety and to share the experience.
How to get started?
Visit https://vtecostudies.org/projects/mountains/mountain-birdwatch/participate/ to find an available route that you'd like to adopt and then reach out to Jason Hill (JHill@vtecostudies.org). Jason will ensure that your desired route is available to adopt, will personally walk you through everything, and will point you to the training and survey materials on our website (https://vtecostudies.org/projects/mountains/mountain-birdwatch/training-materials/).
The vast majority of birds are detected by ear, so good hearing is imperative!
Jason Hill; jhill@vtecostudies; (802) 649-1431