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Indigenous monitoring of marine birds

Photo: Graham Sorenson

Thank you for visiting our resource page for Indigenous Monitoring of Marine Birds! 

Watch a video on the Christmas Bird Count in Canada.

Recorded Indigenous Marine Bird Workshop Videos


Watch a video on the Christmas Bird Count in Canada.

Salish Sea Marine Bird App

The Indigenous marine birds monitoring app is now ready for use! For a full description of how to download and load the app and reporting tool, please read this User Manual.

To get started:


  • Download the Survey123 app, available on Google Play or Apple Store
  • Open the Survey123 app (don’t need to sign in)
  • Load the marine bird form by clicking this link on your mobile device, or by scanning the QR code


  • Enter your name and First Nation so data is kept within your First Nation (contact us with any name issues)
  • Report marine birds while out on the water or from land!


Birds Canada will always store all data as the property of each First Nation. Enhanced Marine Situational Awareness (EMSA) will provide First Nations the ability to download, view, and interact with their data easily, while keeping data private to each Nation. This will be the easiest way to visualize and interact with data you collect.

  • Use an EMSA account for your First Nation to have easy access to this data and lots of other marine data
  • Email Zak Klaas (klaas AT and Rachel Malcove (Rachel.malcove AT  to get started
  • Mention you are using the Indigenous marine bird monitoring app and working with Birds Canada

As an alternative to download all data collected by your community, please email us directly and we will send the data as soon as possible. Email bcvolunteer AT, list your First Nation so we can send the correct data, and list the file type you’d like (xlsx, csv, or kml).

Watch a video on the Christmas Bird Count in Canada.

Marine Bird Trends in the Salish Sea

Using 20 years of volunteer monitoring data, Birds Canada looked at winter population trends of 50 waterbird species, and published this study in Avian Conservation Ecology – Twenty years of coastal waterbird trends suggest regional patterns of environmental pressure in British Columbia, Canada.

The data for this paper comes from the BC Coastal Waterbird Survey – a monthly volunteer survey to count waterbirds on BC’s coast that has been running for over 20 years.

A group of Western Sandpipers feeding.

Identification and Resource Guides

Enjoy these identification guides for the main groups of marine birds. We have left space in each guide for communities to add local Indigenous names for birds species when known, and we would enjoy seeing and learning these indigenous names for birds we all enjoy.


Watch a video on the Christmas Bird Count in Canada.

Learn about Counting Large Flocks


For more information, contact:

BC Projects Coordinator
bcvolunteer AT 

David Bradley, BC Director
bcprograms AT