This post was submitted by Vanessa Loverti, Regional Shorebird Biologist, Division of Migratory Birds, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Pacific Region. Please email Vanessa if you have questions or want to be included in the doodle poll about counting dates.
Vanessa coordinates the counting for the three sites mentioned below. If you want to take part from other coastal sites in Washington, Oregon or California, find out more here.
Please join us!
Once again shorebirds are migrating to Pacific Northwest habitats for the winter – primarily mudflats, wetlands, and beaches. During this exciting time, our shorebird team is gathering resources and planning for the 2019 Pacific Flyway Shorebird Survey, held annually between November 15-December 15.
This survey is a crucial part of the larger Migratory Shorebird Project, which uses a standardized survey protocol along the entire Pacific Coast of the Americas from Alaska to Chile.
In the next few weeks, I will be firming up a range of dates for three areas, the Columbia River Estuary, Willapa Bay, and Grays Harbor, and sending out a doodle poll for each site. This year we will conduct one 2-hour survey, which includes multiple survey sites around our local bays and estuaries.
If you are not feeling confident in your shorebird ID skills, we can pair you up with a previous observer. It should be another excellent year for shorebirds and a unique opportunity to get outside!
What we have learned
Check out the project update where we show annual variation in total shorebird counts from 2011-2018. It ranges from about 200,000 to 400,000 birds across California, Oregon, and Washington.