Each month during Year of the Bird there will be a simple action you can do to make a difference for birds. February brings us the Great Backyard Bird Count. Visit eBird Northwest for details and how to join in!
KBO and American Bird Conservancy are excited to introduce OakBirdPop: a new interactive web application to assist land managers and conservation professionals working on oak restoration projects in the Pacific Northwest. Like other decision support tools, the goal of OakBirdPop is to streamline the process by which research can be used for management. KBO has a suite of decision support tools that present key results from our avian monitoring and research programs in short, user-friendly formats.
What make OakBirdPop different? OakBirdPop is interactive, so managers can see what our bird research and analyses would predict for their specific restoration projects. OakBirdPop allows users to select their region, the bird species they are interested in, and how the oak habitat type will change. The result is a dynamic graph and table that shows how the bird community might change following restoration.
Seeing how bird species would respond to restoration projects is useful for conservation professionals to know because birds serve as important indicators of ecological conditions. Different bird species will be present in an open oak woodland than in a mixed oak-conifer forest. So if managers know which species of birds to expect in the oak habitat they are trying to restore, they can use birds as a ‘measuring stick’ to determine whether the project met their goals. OakBirdPop makes it easy for managers to see the oak bird-habitat analyses that are most relevant to them, and how birds might fare under alternative habitat change scenarios.
Similar to the Land Manager’s Guide to Bird Habitat and Populations in Oak Ecosystems of the Pacific Northwest, OakBirdPop draws from several years of bird monitoring data to provide density and population estimates for several bird species that may use oak habitats. The hope is that conservation professionals can learn from OakBirdPop, and then collect on-the-ground bird monitoring data to assess restoration success. New data may contribute to future versions of OakBirdPop to provide even more information about bird responses to habitat change throughout different regions of the Pacific Northwest.
By William Carlos Williams
All the complicated details
of the attiring and
the disattiring are completed!
A liquid moon
moves gently among
the long branches.
Thus having prepared their buds
against a sure winter
the wise trees
stand sleeping in the cold.
KBO’s Science Director Jaime Stephens and Research Biologist and Klamath Siskiyou Oak Network Coordinator Caitlyn Gillespie were guests on Jefferson Public Radio’s Jefferson Exchange program recently. The discussion ranged from the plight of disappearing oak woodlands in our region to recent Klamath Siskiyou Oak Network partnership-driven conservation successes.
WILDLIFE REHABILITATION: KEEPING WILD BIRDS WILD
TALK: Thursday, October 26th 6:30-8:00pm
This presentation will feature photos and stories about the birds at several rehabilitation centers in our area. Learn about the people who are committed to bird rehabilitation and to the process and work involved in the rescue of birds who are orphaned, injured or sick, with the animals eventually returned to the wild natural world. You will meet ambassador birds: those birds who were unable to be returned to the wild and now are used to educate the public about the work of bird rehab. We will focus on the work of Badger Run Rehab Center in Keno, Oregon.
WALK: Saturday, October 28th 8:00am-6:00pm
The morning outing will take us to Badger Run Rehab Center in Keno. The afternoon will have us roaming the Klamath Wildlife Refuge. We will carpool for this outing. Anticipate at least 1.5 hour travel time each way. An optional donation to Badger Run is encouraged at the end of the tour, with emphasis on OPTIONAL. Local bird guide Vince Zauskey will be co-leading this trip.
BASIC NATURE PHOTOGRAPHY & A SEASONAL JOURNEY THROUGH THE KLAMATH BASIN
TALK: Thursday, November 9th 6:30-8:00pm
The evening will feature four short presentations of nature photography set to music–each highlighting the birds and landscape of the Klamath Basin Wildlife Refuges through the winter, spring, summer, and fall seasons. A fifth presentation will feature the powerful beauty of the Great Gray Owl. Guidelines and techniques for photographing birds and other wildlife will be presented along with the ethics of bird photography. Mel Clements will discuss how to get the best photographs without disturbing the birds.
WALK: Saturday, November 11th 8:00am-6:00pm
Expert bird guide Frank Lospalluto will lead us through the Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuges—birding in the glorious Klamath Basin fall landscape.
To sign up for either event, contact Shannon Rio by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 541-840-4655. Cost for each Talk & Walk is $30 ($15 if you wish to come only to the talk). Shannon will let you know if this event has spaces left and exactly how to pay and other pertinent information. Each outing is limited to 16 participants to allow for a four-car expedition, which makes for a safe and satisfying birding adventure!
Klamath Bird Observatory research scientist Dr. Sarah Rockwell was mentioned in the most recent issue of Living Bird, published by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology (click here to see the article). Sarah completed her Ph.D. research with Dr. Peter Marra (now Director of the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center) on the endangered Kirtland’s Warbler in her home state of Michigan. She found that after drier winters in The Bahamas (which are predicted by several climate change models), Kirtland’s Warblers arrived on Michigan breeding grounds later in the spring, raised fewer offspring, and had lower survival rates that year. This emphasizes the importance of winter habitats for migratory birds; conditions there can carry over to affect birds during different parts of the annual cycle.
“Without natural wildfires, the Kirtland’s Warbler may always be a conservation-reliant species, but it is important to demonstrate the success the Kirtland’s recovery team has had in alleviating limitations on the breeding grounds, and increasing the population from around 200 pairs in the 1970s to over 2,000 pairs today,” says Sarah. “My research helped demonstrate threats that could result from drought on wintering grounds in The Bahamas, which still need to be addressed. Nathan Cooper’s research (discussed in the article) adds important data to the question of identifying where else Kirtland’s Warblers might be spending the winter, as well as important stopover sites along migratory routes, which would be good candidates for habitat protection. My work also demonstrated that Kirtland’s Warblers have higher mortality during migration than any part of the year, making this a critical part of its life cycle.”
Dr. Rockwell, who says she’ll always have a soft spot for this charismatic species, will present her research as an invited speaker in the Kirtland’s Warbler symposium that will take place as part of this year’s American Ornithological Society meeting. She will also present KBO research using birds as indicators to evaluate riparian restoration at beaver dam analogue sites in the Scott Valley, California (click here for more information about this project).
Dr. Sarah Rockwell’s Kirtland Warbler publications:
Rockwell, S. M., C. I. Bocetti, and P. P. Marra (2012). Carry-over effects of winter climate on spring arrival date and reproductive success in an endangered migratory bird, Kirtland’s Warbler (Setophaga kirtlandii). The Auk 129:744-752. http://www.bioone.org/doi/full/10.1525/auk.2012.12003
Rockwell, S. M., J. M. Wunderle, Jr., T. S. Sillett, C. I. Bocetti, D. N. Ewert, D. Currie, J. D. White, and P. P. Marra (2017). Seasonal survival estimation for a long-distance migratory bird and the influence of winter precipitation. Oecologia 183:715-726. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00442-016-3788-x
Klamath Bird Observatory’s Pacific Crest Trail #1 (PCT1) long-term bird monitoring station, operated in partnership with Klamath National Forest, turns 25 this May—older than some of this year’s volunteer interns! The station’s resilience was recognized in the latest MAPS Chat—the annual newsletter of the Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship Program to which we contribute data collected at all of our monitoring stations.
The station is located within Klamath National Forest at the confluence of Seiad Creek and the Klamath River (in northern California near the town of Seiad Valley and the Pacific Crest Trail). It was first established by John Alexander (KBO Executive Director) who was a Biological Technician on the Klamath National Forest at that time. Sam Cuenca (Klamath National Forest District Biologist) was there from the start and maintains operation for the station to this day. The Institute for Bird Populations created the continental-wide Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship Program in 1989 and currently has over 300 contributing banding stations.
Click here to view this issue of MAPS Chat – the PCT1 station recognition and a surprise 1993 photo of John and Taylor Alexander are on Page 9!