Date: 4/5/17 7:38 am
From: Douglas Harr <dnharr...>
Subject: [ia-bird] Final BBS request for Iowa volunteers
This is a second and final attempt to get our 2017 vacant routes filled
with volunteers to conduct the annual federal Breeding Bird Surveys (BBS).
There are now 3 vacant routes remaining, a couple of which have not been
filled for some time and really need to get back into the mix.
Fortunately, we have filled 4 routes in eastern and central Iowa with new
volunteers over the past week, but it certainly would be great to try
filling all our routes for the first time in many, many years!

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 would consider volunteering 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 our 3 remaining vacant BBS routes in Iowa (named after
nearby towns) and their general locations. All three remaining vacancies
are in western Iowa, where we are always seem to be short on birders:

- Neola--in Pottawattamie Co., NE of Council Bluffs
- Pierson--in Woodbury & Plymouth Co's, E of Sioux City
- Washta--in Cherokee & Woodbury Co's, E of Sioux City

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 final 2017 request if you'd consider 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 (address, phone & email) for new
volunteers and must submit that information to the BBS office in the next
couple of weeks, 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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