Does watching a June sunrise immersed in the deafening cacophony of singing insects, frogs, and birds appeal to you? How about knowing you have nearly five hours of focused birding to complete before having time to eat a mid-morning ‘lunch’? If you said yes and care about birds, you might consider conducting a Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) route.
The BBS is a standardized effort to monitor the status and trends of bird populations across North America. Nearly 600 routes were surveyed in the inaugural year of 1966, and today over 3000 routes are surveyed annually by 2000 dedicated volunteers. Analyses of long-term BBS data reveal that many grassland birds are declining whereas many wetland birds are increasing. These national trends are also evident in Montana. For example, populations of Chestnut-collared Longspurs, Bobolinks, and Horned Lark have experienced precipitous declines whereas there are more Canada Geese now than ever before.
BBS routes are located throughout the state but routes in eastern Montana especially need survey volunteers. If you can identify birds by sight and song and would be willing to lend one morning of your time to survey birds, please attend an informational meeting at one of these three locations:
Billings Public Library (Computer Room, second floor) on Thursday 14 April from 530-700PM
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Office in Great Falls (Giant Springs Road) on Monday 18 April from 630-800PM,