Tracking seasonal populations
Since 1989, Audubon Canyon Ranch has been monitoring seasonal populations of shorebirds on Tomales Bay. Three baywide counts are completed within each early-winter and late winter census period, and an additional baywide count is conducted each Augustto record peak numbers of fallmigrants.
We have divided Tomales Bay into 15 shorebird count areas, which are covered simultaneously by teams of qualified volunteer field observers. Each count requires 60-90 minutes to complete. Some counts are coordinated to coincide closely with counts conducted by other investigators in other areas.
We use the Tomales Bay shorebird survey data in quantitative assessments of species status, distribution, and trends (e.g., Kelly 2001, Kelly and Stallcup 2003), habitat values (Kelly 2001), and progress in local wetlands restoration (Kelly and Condeso 2017).
The results provide information for regional planning and are made available to other investigators through electronic data access (e.g., California Avian Data Center).
For more information on becoming involved with this volunteer effort, contact the Cypress Grove Research Center at 415.663.8203.
Photo: Nils Warnock