I just read Steve’s email asking for survey route volunteers. Since Sue and I have been running a BBS route for about five years I want to recommend them. When we started the prospect of getting up at 4AM and running a 25 mile route with stops every half mile was pretty daunting. Now, looking back, I am real glad we got started and have stuck with it. Birding is fun but a route like this adds something special. We all know the threats bird populations face but are we doing anything about it? When our route is done (including submitting the data) there is always a special feeling of satisfaction that comes over me. I think it has to do with completing a challenging task and knowing we have done something to help. As a bonus we can remember some of the experiences like waiting for the hen turkey and chicks to cross the road ahead of us. And then there are routine birds like Virginia Rails, Wood Ducks and American Bittern we observed. Great birding and helping the birds. That is definitely a win win.
> On May 5, 2016, at 9:53 AM, Steve Faccio <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Hello Birders;
> The Vermont Center for Ecostudies is looking for skilled birders to conduct breeding bird surveys in Vermont for two different long-term avian monitoring programs--the North American Breeding Bird Survey <https://www.pwrc.usgs.gov/bbs/about/> (BBS) and the Vermont Forest Bird Monitoring Program <http://vtecostudies.org/projects/forests/vermont-forest-bird-monitoring-program/> (FBMP).
> _*The BBS*_ -- Initiated in 1966, the BBS is North America's longest-running bird monitoring program with survey routes in every state, as well as in Canada and Mexico. Each survey route is 24.5 miles long with stops at 0.5-mile intervals. At each stop, a 3-minute point count is conducted during a single morning in June. In Vermont, there are 23 BBS routes, six of which are currently vacant and in-need of volunteers. Below is a list of the vacant routes; to view a map of the routes click here <https://www.pwrc.usgs.gov/bbs/RouteMap/Map.cfm>.
> 87002 - North Pownal
> 87003 - Stratton
> 87004 - Landgrove
> 87006 - Gaysville
> 87009 - S Wallingford
> 87116 - Newbury
> _*The FBMP*_ -- The FBMP was initiated in 1989 with the primary goal of tracking long-term population trends of interior forest birds. The program consists of 30 study sites in forested habitats throughout the state. Each study site has 5 permanently marked survey stations (point counts) at which birds are sampled for 10 minutes on two different mornings during June. Currently, the 4 study sites listed below are vacant--two are in the Manchester area and two are near Middlebury. Maps of each study site can be found here <http://vtecostudies.org/projects/forests/vermont-forest-bird-monitoring-program/project-materials/>.
> Lye Brook Wilderness Area
> Merck Forest and Farmland
> Cornwall Swamp
> Chandler Ridge
> We recently completed a 25-year analysis of FBMP data, and will be publishing a report of those results soon. See our most recent issue of /Field Notes/ <http://vtecostudies.org/field-notes/> for a summary of that analysis.
> _*Skills Required:*_ Volunteer observers must possess excellent bird identification skills (both visual and aural) for both the BBS and FBMP. For the FBMP, volunteers must be capable of hiking on variable terrain, often without trails, and navigating with GPS and/or map and compass.
> _*Time Commitment:*_ BBS surveys require a single morning in June and each survey takes approximately 4-5 hours to complete. FBMP sites should be surveyed on two different mornings during June, with each survey taking between 1.5 and 2 hours to complete (not including travel time to and from the study site). For both projects, survey start-times are ~ 5:00 AM). In addition, another 1-1.5 hours of time is required to transfer data from field forms onto coding sheets, and to enter data into an online, web-based data entry system. Because these are both long-term monitoring programs, participants should be able to make a multi-year commitment to the project.
> This is a great opportunity for someone to "bird with a purpose" and contribute to a long-term dataset.
> Please feel free to contact me if you are interested in participating in either project, or if you simply want more information.
> Steve Faccio
> Conservation Biologist
> Vermont Center for Ecostudies
> PO Box 420
> Norwich, VT 05055
> Physical Address
> 20 Palmer CT
> White River Junction, VT 05001
> 802-649-1431 xt.3
> [log in to unmask]