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By Graham Sorenson (BC Projects Coordinator) and Dr. David Bradley (BC Program Director), Bird Studies Canada

Photo: Karen Barry

Earlier this month, Bird Studies Canada celebrated the start of the 20th season of our British Columbia Coastal Waterbird Survey. This is possible because of amazing volunteers. 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 fall and 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. We are seeking new volunteers to join the survey and cover 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 Survey volunteers in the Victoria area played a crucial role in documenting and collecting carcasses during 2016’s Rhinoceros Auklet mortality event.
To volunteer for either of these projects or get information about upcoming training workshops, please contact Graham Sorenson at or 1-877-349-2473.
To see maps generated using coastal waterbird survey results, read a summary of last year’s coastal survey results, learn how survey results are used, and more, check out the most recent BC coastal surveys newsletter.
A special thank-you to all of our coastal program volunteers!
The BC Beached Bird and Coastal Waterbird Surveys are supported by Environment and Climate Change Canada, the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, and the Vancouver Port Authority.

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