Community Editor's Picks

North Coast bird monitoring trainings set to begin soon


If you enjoy bird watching and want to combine that interest with helping protect birds and habitats, you’re in luck. A multitude of training opportunities and monitoring events are set to kick off this spring at various locations along the North Coast. No experience necessary, just a love of our coastal bird populations.

Opportunities range from helping monitor western Snowy Plovers on beaches, Black Oystercatchers on our rocky shoreline, seabird nesting colonies off of Cape Falcon and Cannon Beach, and monitoring roosting Brown Pelicans off a number of sites on the North Coast. These efforts are not only fun but are providing vital information to help inform conservation and protection of Oregon’s coastline, habitats, and birds.

The Snowy Plover Patrol project targets an endangered species that has been in decline for several decades due to loss of habitat and disturbances from development, recreation, and other human pressures. In Oregon, the population hit a low of about 50 individuals in the early 1990s. Subsequently this species was listed as threatened under the Federal Endangered Species Act in 1993.

Due to targeted recovery efforts in Oregon, mostly focused on the south and central coast, the bird has bounced back to a few hundred individuals although still a small, vulnerable population. “Community scientists have played a big role on the coast in recent years in helping us inform management efforts and conservation of vulnerable bird species and their habitats,” says Joe Liebezeit, Staff Scientist & Avian Conservation Manager with Audubon Society of Portland.

The Black Oystercatcher monitoring project is helping obtain an Oregon-wide population estimate for this bird of conservation concern that is totally dependent on rocky shoreline habitats for nesting and foraging. The oystercatcher survey data is also being contributed to a new ecological inventory that will be used to inform Oregon’s new effort to update its management plan for rocky shoreline sites.

Oregon is home to over 1 million colonial nesting seabirds! Oregon’s system of marine reserves and protected areas offer the opportunity to see how seabirds are faring both adjacent to and outside of these underwater protected areas.

“Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife is doing important baseline scientific research, looking a fish and marine invertebrates in Cape Falcon Marine Reserve among other things,” says Nadia Gardner of Cape Falcon Marine Reserve. “However, without local volunteers there wouldn’t be research on our seabirds. We are so thankful to those who give their time to help collect this important data both inside and outside of Oregon’s Marine Reserves.”

For details on dates and location for these trainings and opportunities, see the listing below:

What: Snowy Plover Patrol Training

When: Saturday, April 13, 2019 from 10 am to 2 pm.

Where: Cannon Beach City Hall (163 E Gower Ave, Cannon Beach, OR)

Details: Portland Audubon is partnering with Oregon Parks and Recreation Department to monitor for endangered western Snowy Plovers at five sites on the North Coast (from Clatsop Spit in Astoria to Sitka Sedge beach near Pacific City) starting in April and continuing through mid-July. Surveys twice a month (2-4 hours), can be physically demanding.

Please RSVP by emailing [email protected]

What: Snowy Plover Patrol Training

When: Saturday, April 20, 2019 from 10 am to 2 pm.

Where: Nehalem Bay State Park Meeting Hall (34600 Gary St, Nehalem, OR)

Details: Portland Audubon is partnering with Oregon Parks and Recreation Department to monitor for endangered western Snowy Plovers at five sites on the North Coast (from Clatsop Spit in Astoria to Sitka Sedge beach near Pacific City) starting in April and continuing through mid-July. Surveys twice a month (2-4 hours), can be physically demanding.

Please RSVP by emailing [email protected]

What: Black Oystercatcher Monitoring Training

When: Saturday, April 20, 2019 from 10 am to 12 pm

Where: Cannon Beach City Hall (163 E Gower Ave, Cannon Beach, OR)

Details: If you would like to learn more about this amazing bird and are interested in helping with Audubon Portland’s community science effort to monitor oystercatchers on the coast, consider attending this training. The training will cover Black Oystercatcher life history, conservation challenges they face, and instructions on how to participate in our abundance and nest monitoring program. Light refreshments will be served. Brought to you by partnership of The Haystack Rock Awareness Program, Audubon Society of Portland and Cape Falcon Marine Reserve.

For details, email [email protected]

What: Pacific Brown Pelican Survey

When: Saturday, May 18, 5 pm to 7 pm

Where: Falcon Cove

Details: Join us in counting pelicans at our local rocky island pelican roosting sites in the Cape Falcon Marine Reserve just off the community of Falcon Cove between Manzanita and Cannon Beach, Oregon. Easy access. No experience necessary.

Protocol: ca.audubon.org/brownpelicansurvey

For details, email [email protected]

What: Seabird Monitoring Training

When: Saturday, June 8, 10 am to 12 pm

Where: Cannon Beach City Hall (163 E Gower Ave, Cannon Beach, OR)

Details: Do you like seabirds and care about their welfare? Join a volunteer opportunity to monitor seabird nests at Cape Falcon Marine Reserve and at Oregon’s iconic Haystack Rock.

Portland Audubon and partners Cape Falcon Marine Reserve, US Fish & Wildlife Service, and Haystack Rock Awareness Program are monitoring seabird nesting colonies adjacent to the Cape Falcon Marine Reserve in order to better understand how seabirds may respond to the new protections.

For details, email [email protected]