Volunteers are conducting surveys on predetermined routes on two to three dates this May and June. Surveys will be completed in early mornings or late evenings, typically lasting 2-3 hours each. Routes consist of 5 to 10 survey points typically spaced 400 - 800 meters apart and often covering multiple wetlands. At each point, surveyors use both passive listening and broadcast calls of target species to solicit bird responses over a 10- or 11-minute period. Surveyors will take data recording each species of marshbird detected during each interval at each survey point.
This survey requires some advanced skills relative to other volunteer-based surveys. Observers must have good hearing and know the target species by sight and sound. Volunteers must have good navigation skills, be physically fit for off-road hiking, and take detailed data records. The ability to enter data online data is a huge plus.
- Survey Broadcast Calls
- Training Manual
- Habitat Datasheet
- Training Audio Tracks
- Training Answering Sheets (Excel file)
- Vocalizations Practice Tool
- National Marshbird Surve Protocol
- Sampling Design framework
- National Marshbird Survey Resources
- Sounds of the Marsh
The survey will focus on six species: American Bittern, Least Bittern, Pied-billed Grebe, Sora, Virginia Rail, and Yellow Rail. Data will also be collected on a set of secondary species; see a full list of species here. Or return to the main Marshbird Survey page.