Thursday, May 13, 2010

Nightjar Survey Network Seeks Volunteers

The U.S. Nightjar Survey Network is entering its fourth year as the vital program that documents the population distribution and population trends of these declining species. Nightjars are the group of nocturnal, insectivorous birds that includes species such as the whip-poor-will, common poorwill, chuck-will's-widow, and the nighthawks among others. We would like to invite all birders and conservationists to participate in the program by adopting Nightjar Survey Routes in 2010 and beyond.

We are very grateful to the number of participants already involved in the program and for the quality of the data they have collected. Information gathered over the past four years is helping to explain how the composition of habitats in local landscapes influences nightjar abundance. In turn, these data will help reach the project's near-term goals of explaining habitat-based declines where they occur.

There is still need for longer-term data and broader geographic coverage to adequately cover the target species.

Nightjar Surveys are standardized counts conducted along census routes on bright moonlit nights. Observers count all Nightjars seen or heard for a six-minute period at each of 10 stops along the route. The entire survey will not take much more than one hour to complete and only needs conducted one time per year. We have a series of existing routes in each state that are still in need of adoption.

Please consider adopting a Nightjar Survey Route. The continuing success of U.S. Nightjar Survey Network relies entirely on volunteer participation.

Visit the U.S. Nightjar Survey at for location of surveys, data sheets and instructions, and how to adopt a route.

Michael Wilson
Center for Conservation Biology
College of William and Mary & Virginia Commonwealth University
PO Box 8795 Williamsburg, VA 23187-8795
phone: 757-221-1649
fax: 757-221-1650

No comments: