Citizen Science Opportunities

Citizen Scientists Needed

Not a wildlife biologist, but would love to participate in bird or habitat monitoring?  The individuals and organizations below could use your participation in one or more of the following citizen science projects. To learn more about each of the projects, just click on the link below for the project that interests you.

  • Kachemak Bay Shorebird Monitoring
  • Alaska Loon and Grebe Watch Monitoring Program
  • Christmas Bird Count
  • Coastal Observation And Seabird Survey Team (COASST)
  • Great Backyard Bird Count
  • eBird
  • Nest Watch
  • Project Feederwatch
  • Yard-map

Kachemak Bay Shorebird Monitoring

Count and record shorebirds arriving at Kachemak Bay during spring migration (mid-April to late-May)

For more information: Kachemak Bay Birders – George Matz at geomatz@alaska.net

Alaska Loon and Grebe Watch Monitoring Program

Record Loon and Grebe observations at your lake or a nearby lake (late May to late August)

For more information: http://aknhp.uaa.alaska.edu/zoology/citizen-science/alaska-loon-grebe-watch/

Christmas Bird Count

With a team count birds in a particular radius on a particular day in December
For more information: National Audubon Society http://www.audubon.org/conservation/science/christmas-bird-count

Local Contact: Dave Erikson at derikson@alaska.net or Lani Raymond at lani67@alaska.net

COASST – Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team

Walk an assigned area of beach monthly and record any dead birds found (year round).

For more information: http://depts.washington.edu/coasst/

Great Backyard Bird Count

Count the number and kinds of birds seen at least 15 minutes on one or more the days 4 count days in mid February.

For more information: Cornell Lab of Ornithology http://gbbc.birdcount.org/

eBird

Record and submit your personal checklist of birds seen at any time and any location

For more information: http://ebird.org/content/ebird/

Nest Watch

Observe and record any nests/eggs/babies observed in natural habitat or in nest boxes during breeding season (April through August in Alaska)

For more information: Cornell Lab of Ornithology http://nestwatch.org/

Project Feeder Watch

Count and record birds seen at your feeders (November to April)

For more information: Cornell Lab of Ornithology http://feederwatch.org/

YardMap

Record bird habitat in your yard (or other area)

For more information: Cornell Lab of Ornithology http://content.yardmap.org/

2016 Christmas Bird Count Results

 

Homer’s Christmas Bird Count (12-17-16)

FINAL REPORT

Forty two volunteers participated in Homer’s annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count, five watching feeders in their own yard and the others out in the field. The weather was not too cooperative with icy walking, limited visibility for most of the day and resulting decreased available daylight hours, but many were expressing the same thought, “We’ve seen much worse!”

A total of 64 species were seen on the Count Day (Saturday, December 17). Highlights included a WHITE-THROATED SPARROW found at a feeder near Crittenden St., a BELTED KINGFISHER found in Beluga Slough near the culvert from the lake, and a single SANDERLING found among the ROCK SANDPIPERS on the Homer Spit. CHUKARS, a colorful gamebird related to a pheasant, were found at a residence out East End Rd, though possibly may not count as an official species due to their probable domestic escapee status.

Three additional species were seen during the Count Week (three days before and three days after Count Day): SNOW BUNTING, MERLIN, and GREAT-HORNED OWL.

There were 10,492 individual birds counted. Most numerous species were MALLARDS (3422), ROCK SANDPIPERS (1700), and COMMON GOLDENEYE (820). Only one COMMON MURRE was seen this year, compared to the die-off that was developing at this time last year when over 200 were counted. (In winter, murres are typically out at sea instead of here in the bay.)

A big thanks to all the volunteers who participated, to the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge for letting us use their space for our meeting and potluck, the local Kachemak Bay Birders, and to Dave Erikson for coordinating yet another Christmas Bird Count. It was indeed a Great Day to Bird!

 

2015 Christmas Bird Count results

Summary provided by Dave Erikson:

What a fantastic Christmas Bird Count here in Homer!  There were 66 species seen and three of these species had never been seen before on a Christmas Bird Count:Red-breasted Sapsucker, Anna’s Hummingbird and Ancient Murrelet.  During the Count Week (which is three days before and three days after the Count Day), an additional nine species were found, including a Great Blue Heron and a Chestnut-backed Chickadee, both very uncommon on this side of the Bay. Participants, including myself, did their best during the short daylight hours searching hard and long to find the latter two on the Count Day itself, as they had been seen the previous few days and would have been wonderful finds.

Nearly 8000 birds were counted in all. The most numerous species were Rock Sandpipers (2000), Pine Siskin (871), and Black Scoter (845); also hundreds of Mallards, Common Mergansers, Pelagic Cormorants, Common Murre, American Robins, Black-capped Chickadees, Northwestern Crows and Glaucous-winged Gulls. Species of note were six European Starlings, White-throated Sparrow, Townsend’s Solitaire, and—love them or not—there were 13 Ring Necked Pheasants (last year only one could be found).

The weather cooperated and the snow that was predicted thankfully did not fall.  This was a huge help although the heavy clouds meant the day was very short.  A big thank you to over thirty volunteers who participated, plus other feeder watchers.  Thank you to Dave Erikson as coordinator of the Count; this was the 39th consecutive Christmas Bird Count he has coordinated here in Homer! And a big thank you to Islands and Ocean Visitor Center for allowing us to use their wonderful facility.  

2015 Shorebird Monitoring report and data

The final version of the 2015 Kachemak Bay Shorebird Monitoring Project report has been completed by George Matz.

This report contains:

1. Report on the spring 2015 ground-based shorebird surveys of the Homer Spit area
with comparisons to surveys from previous years.
2. Spreadsheets of the observation data, by site, for the 2015 Kachemak Bay Shorebird Monitoring Project.

2015 Shorebird Monitoring: Final Report
2015 Shorebird Monitoring data

 

2014 Kachemak Bay Shorebird Monitoring Report (final)

The final version of the 2014 Kachemak Bay Shorebird Monitoring Project report has been completed by George Matz.

This report contains:

1. Report on the spring 2014 ground-based shorebird surveys of the Homer Spit area
with comparisons to surveys from previous years.
2. Spreadsheets of the observation data, by site, for the 2014 Kachemak Bay Shorebird Monitoring Project.

2013 Christmas Bird Count Final Report from Dave Erikson

The final CBC report from Dave Erikson is finished . We got 54 species for the day and then an additional 5 species for the Count Week.

What we found: HARLEQUIN DUCK, SURF SCOTER, WHITE-WINGED SCOTER, BLACK SCOTER, LONG-TAILED DUCK, BUFFLEHEAD, COMMON GOLDENEYE, COMMON MERGANSER, RING-NECKED PHEASANT, RED-THROATED LOON, COMMON LOON, HORNED GREBE, RED-NECKED GREBE, PELAGIC CORMORANT, BALD EAGLE, NORTHERN GOSHAWK, ROCK SANDPIPER, MEW GULL, HERRING GULL, GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULL, COMMON MURRE, murrelet sp., ROCK PIGEON, DOWNY WOODPECKER, HAIRY WOODPECKER, NORTHERN SHRIKE, GRAY JAY, STELLER’S JAY, BLACK-BILLED MAGPIE, NORTHWESTERN CROW, COMMON RAVEN, BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE, BOREAL CHICKADEE, RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH, BROWN CREEPER, PACIFIC WREN, GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET, RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET, AMERICAN ROBIN, VARIED THRUSH, BOHEMIAN WAXWING, CEDAR WAXWING, AMERICAN TREE SPARROW, FOX SPARROW, SONG SPARROW, WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW, GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROW, DARK-EYED JUNCO, SNOW BUNTING, GRAY-CROWNED ROSY-FINCH, PINE GROSBEAK, PINE SISKIN, RUSTIC BUNTING, MOURNING DOVE.

Count Week species : GREAT HORNED OWL, NORTHERN HARRIER, HARLAN’S HAWK, MARBLED MURRELET, PIGEON GUILLEMOT.

The largest numbers were BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS (1027), NORTHWESTERN CROW (372), and BLACK SCOTER (360). A total of 3578 individual birds were counted.

2013 Shorebird Monitoring Project

The final 2013 Kachemak Bay Shorebird Monitoring Project report has been completed by George Matz.

This report contains:

1. Report on the spring 2013 ground-based shorebird surveys of the Homer Spit area
with comparisons to surveys from previous years.
2. Spreadsheets of the observation data, by site, for the 2013 Kachemak Bay Shorebird Monitoring Project.

2012 Kachemak Bay Shorebird Monitoring: Final Report

The final 2012 Kachemak Bay Shorebird Monitoring Project report has been completed by George Matz.

This report contains:

1. Report on the spring 2011 ground-based shorebird surveys of the Homer Spit area?with comparisons to surveys from previous years.
2. Spreadsheets of the observation data, by site, for the 2011 Kachemak Bay Shorebird Monitoring Project.

 

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