When: Tuesdays, November 3, 10, 17 and December 1, 15; 6-8pm
Where: RE Sources, 2nd floor, 2309 Meridian St., Bellingham
why: To learn how to identify 15 marine birds and be able to take part in cherry point bird Surveys.
RE Sources for Sustainable Communities, in coordination with the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve Citizen Stewardship Committee and North Cascades Audubon Society, is offering a free series of bird identification classes. The purpose of these classes is to train citizen scientists to learn 15 common birds and bird count protocol in preparation for assisting in bird surveys at the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve. The classes will be taught by Audubon experts Paul Woodcock and Pam Borso and by Western Washington University (WWU) professor and ornithologist, John Bower.
Bird surveys are being used throughout the world to document shifts and declines in bird populations. Shifts can be traced to availability of prey resources, changing habitats, competition from new or invading species and climate change. Declines in bird populations are often associated with habitat loss and fragmentation.
The current series of bird surveys started in 2013. The surveys mimic the techniques, protocol, and site locations used in the 1978/79 Marine Ecosystems Analysis or MESA study and the 2003/05 WWU Bower study. According to the 2005 Bower study, “data from the same locations showed significant declines in 14 of the 37 most common overwintering Salish Sea species, including 10 species that declined by more than 50%; seven species showed significant increases over that time period.”
North Sound Baykeeper, Wendy Steffensen, says it is important to track the population of our wildlife species. “These surveys give us information on how changing conditions are affecting wildlife and if we heed these messages we can not only work to benefit these species, but ourselves as well”.
Registration is encouraged, but not required. To register, contact Lyle Anderson at email@example.com. Participation in the classes enables you to take part in bird surveys, but it does not require you to do so. The trainings are meant to br taken as a series. A report on the findings of the 2013-2014 surveys can be found here: http://tinyurl.com/o5ehcu3