Being a birder means a lot of different things to many different people. Some birders go out every week to count and list as many species as they can find, while others have a yard list of the birds they identify from their window. Read below for a guest blog from Eric DeFonso, a Bird Conservancy seasonal field crew leader for our Integrated Monitoring in Bird Conservation Regions (IMBCR) program. Eric shows how sometimes, birding by sight is not always feasible or possible.
Every year, biologists and technicians traverse on foot across mountains, prairies, and deserts to survey breeding birds under the Integrated Monitoring in Bird Conservation Regions (IMBCR) program. The second largest breeding bird monitoring program in North America, IMBCR’s footprint stretches across private and public land from the Great Plains to the Great Basin. Check out this StoryMap for a closer look at this impressive program!
Bird Conservancy runs many scientific, educational, and outreach programs that promote birds and their habitats and inspire people’s love of nature, and we are proud of the impact we have on our communities. In one year alone, we enhanced over 29,000 acres across six states, reached almost 6,000 participants through virtual outreach opportunities, and monitored one million acres to determine bird responses to management and restoration efforts. But none of these programs would be successful without our talented and dedicated staff. In this post, we highlight one employee who works behind the scenes year-round to implement one of the largest breeding bird monitoring programs in North America – Matthew McLaren, the coordinator for the Integrated Monitoring in Bird Conservation Regions (IMBCR) program at Bird Conservancy. He’s been a dedicated member of our organization since 2011, and he’s “what makes IMBCR work year in and year out.”
GIS is an acronym that stands for Geographic Information Science, or Geographic Information System. This powerful technology enables Bird Conservancy Biologists to answer research questions, design scientific surveys, and measure the impacts of conservation projects on bird populations at a landscape scale.
Forest management has evolved rapidly over the last two decades as land managers strive to find a balance between wildlife habitat needs, resource utilization, fire mitigation, and resilience to climate change. Using birds as indicators, Bird Conservancy and partners explored the impacts of the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program and how modern forest management approaches are shaping avian biodiversity in treated landscapes.
After six years, nine states and over 200 surveys, IMBCR technician Mike McCloy shares his perspective on the importance of counting birds to conservation, the challenges and joys of being a field tech, and how he (and the landscapes he traverses) have changed.
For over ten years, private landowners have been granting permission for Bird Conservancy to conduct bird surveys on their land. These partners in conservation enable us to learn about bird populations across the whole landscape, beyond public lands. Equally important are the lasting friendships that often form between our staff and the landowners as they bond over birds, landscapes and the stewardship values we share.
Two large-scale monitoring programs collect data on bird populations every summer in the United States—Integrated Monitoring in Bird Conservation Regions and the Breeding Bird Survey. How are they different, and in what ways do each program complement the other in addressing the vast information gaps needed to help inform avian conservation?
Every year in late spring and summer, our field season crew traipses across mountains, prairies and deserts to survey birds under the Integrated Monitoring in Bird Conservation Regions (IMBCR) program. As this post from our of our field technicians attests, these rugged and remote landscapes don’t always make it easy!