By Karen Devitt (BC Program Coordinator) and Dr. David Bradley (BC Program Manager), Bird Studies Canada
On September 10, Bird Studies Canada will celebrate the start of the 19th season of our British Columbia Coastal Waterbird Survey. This long-term Citizen Science monitoring program involves counting ducks, loons, grebes, gulls, and other waterbirds on the second Sunday of each month throughout the winter. BC Coastal Waterbird Survey results play an important role in species recovery strategies, oil spill response planning, and international research initiatives like the Migratory Shorebird Project. Bird Studies Canada is seeking volunteers for several areas, including Vancouver, Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands, and the Sunshine Coast.
Bird Studies Canada is also looking for Citizen Scientists to assist with our BC Beached Bird Survey. This survey involves walking along local beaches and checking for bird carcasses. Surveys are conducted anytime during the last week of each month, and all survey equipment is provided. This program provides crucial baseline information on the causes and rates of seabird mortality. The results give a good indication of marine ecosystem health, and can help scientists detect changes in ocean conditions. BC Beached Bird Surveyors in the Victoria area played a crucial role in documenting and collecting carcasses during last year’s Rhinoceros Auklet mortality event. You can learn more about that event, check out trends detected over the first 17 years of the Coastal Waterbird Survey, see results from the 2015 Beached Bird Survey, and more in the most recent BC coastal surveys newsletter.
A special thank-you to all of our coastal program volunteers! If you’d like to volunteer for either of these projects, or find out when our next training sessions will be, please contact Karen Devitt at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-877-349-2473.
The BC Beached Bird and Coastal Waterbird Surveys are supported by Environment and Climate Change Canada and the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation.