Flock to feathers: State needs birders

Courtesy Missouri Department of Conservation

Courtesy Missouri Department of Conservation

For those willing and able to branch out beyond backyard finches and cardinals, the Missouri Department of Conservation is recruiting bird watchers.

They need volunteers to help with this year’s North American Breeding Bird Survey.

The survey that started in 1966 is an international bird monitoring program to track the status and trends of North American bird populations.

From the conservation department media release:

Each June (hottest time for bird breeding) volunteers collect population data along roadside survey routes.

Each route is 24.5 miles long with stops at 0.5-mile intervals. A 3-minute spot count is conducted at each stop and every bird seen or heard within a 0.25-mile radius is recorded.

Surveys begin a half hour before sunrise and take about five hours.

There are still vacant routes in Missouri that need volunteers. People must have access to transportation, good hearing and eyesight and the ability to identify breeding birds in the area. Knowing bird songs is also important.

New volunteers must also complete a on-line training program before their data can be used.

For more information or to volunteer, contact Janet Haslerig at Janet.Haslerig@mdc.mo.gov or 573-522-4115, ext 3198.

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