Date: 3/30/17 2:38 pm
From: Douglas Harr <dnharr...>
Subject: [ia-bird] Federal Breeding Bird Survey Iowa volunteers needed!
Once again it's time to attempt getting our vacant routes filled with
volunteers to conduct the annual federal Breeding Bird Surveys. There are
7 vacant routes in Iowa right now, a couple of which have not been filled
for some time and really need to get back into the mix. The Breeding Bird
Survey (BBS) is the longest-running, scientifically-designed bird survey in
the nation, and data collected is *critical* for determining trends in
bird populations and to help biologists plan how to deal with species
declines. Because of frequent vacancies in the 33 current routes in Iowa,
there is often lack of enough data to hamper conservation planning, details
for updated breeding bird atlases, T&E species evaluations, and more.

If you might care to volunteer to fill a vacant Iowa BBS route, here is
some basic information about the survey & requirements for volunteers:

- Each 25-mi. survey must be conducted at sunrise one time between late
May & early July (typical survey takes about 4 hours).
- New volunteers must view about an hour of training material on the BBS
website.
- Volunteers must try to conduct their route for at least 3 consecutive
years (or the data may not be usable).
- You need basic bird identification skills for most of Iowa's more
common species.
- Volunteer may optionally have someone come along as a driver or data
recorder (but that person cannot help ID the birds)

Here is a list of currently vacant BBS routes in Iowa (named after a nearby
town) and their general locations:

- Neola--in Pottawattamie Co., NE of Council Bluffs
- Prairiesburg--in Linn & Delaware Co's., NE of Cedar Rapids
- Dinsdale--along the Black Hawk & Grundy Co. line, SW of Waterloo
- Clare--in Webster & Humboldt Co's, NW of Fort Dodge
- Pierson--in Woodbury & Plymouth Co's, E of Sioux City
- Washta--in Cherokee & Woodbury Co's, E of Sioux City
- Lafayette--in Linn & Benton Co's, N of Cedar Rapids


Give this request some serious thought, as the BBS provides the most
important annual bird data for all of North America--and "citizen
scientists" are the most important people to help conduct these surveys.

Please reply to this note if you'd consider doing a route, and let me know
which one. You might first want to go to the BBS website and review
additional information before letting me know:
*https://www.pwrc.usgs.gov/bbs/index.cfm
<https://www.pwrc.usgs.gov/bbs/index.cfm>* . However, I need the names and
contact info for new volunteers and must submit that information to the BBS
office in April, giving them time to provide you with maps, data forms,
volunteer papers needing signatures, etc. before the count period begins.
If I've not met you before or don't know of your birding background, please
include a description of your birding abilities, or the name of someone who
can testify to your basic bird ID skills.

Doug Harr
Iowa Breeding Bird Survey Coordinator

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