Mark your calendars! Audubon’s Climate Watch program is back from January 15th to February 15th, 2024. Each survey includes 12 short point-counts, recording observations with three target species: Pygmy Nuthatch, Red-breasted Nuthatch, and White-breasted Nuthatch.
The Climate Watch program aims to document target species’ response to climate change through volunteer data collection. When comparing the number of birds recorded at each location to the National Audubon’s predictions of where the birds’ should be, we are able to better understand how target species’ ranges are changing in response to climate change.
Climate Watch surveys specific birds species, or target species, that we have strong climate model predictions for. During the winter session, the three focal species for our area are Pygmy Nuthatch, Red-Breasted Nuthatch, and White-Breasted Nuthatch. This survey identifies these backyard bird species by sight and sound.
Learn more about each species below:
To participate in the survey you will need to claim a 10×10 km square using the Mapping Tool on the Climate Watch website. Once at the site, zoom to the area that you are interested in surveying, and click the three target species on the list pictured below.
Once you select your target species, blue squares should appear on the map, which indicate that a site has been claimed already. On the right side of the screen a window named “Smart Editor” should appear with a red line underneath the title. Click anywhere within this window and the line will turn green, indicating that you can select an unclaimed square.
Step 1: The square that you select should turn green, as indicated by the orange arrow below.
Step 2: Where the blue arrow is, type your name. This will claim that species in that square for the winter survey.
Step 3: To continue, click the Save button in the lower right hand corner where the green arrow is located.
Step 4: Since the survey focuses on three species, you will need to claim each of the species within your square. Click the button above the red arrow to move to the next species.
Step 5: Repeat Step 2 (blue arrow) and Step 3 (green arrow) for each species that you plan on surveying.
Once these steps are complete, close the smart editor and your square will turn blue, indicating that it is claimed.
Once you have your square claimed, you will need to identify 12 survey locations within your square that represent the best habitat for each target species.
Now it is time to conduct your point-count surveys and gather data. To conduct your surveys, stand stationary at each of your points for five minutes and record your observations using eBird, the Audubon mobile app, or paper forms.
After completing the surveys and recording the data, the final step is to submit the data, which varies by how you record the data.
To submit data recorded through eBird, log onto the website (do not use the mobile app to submit your data), and copy the checklist ID of each checklist. Once the ID is copied, submit your checklist information through the Audubon Portal.
If you save the checklist data that you collected on the Audubon Mobile App, then Audubon has your data and your surveys are accounted for.
If you recorded your surveys using paper forms, submit your data here. Remember to submit one checklist per form. Once submitted, the forms are unable to be edited and no email receipt is provided.
Access Paper Forms Here.
Thank you for participating in the Winter 2024 Climate Watch Survey! Your contributions to this project are greatly appreciated!