The Oregon 2020 project recognizes our unique position in history and uses eBird to create a benchmark survey of Oregon’s birds. Oregon 2020 aims to provide high quality data on the distribution and abundance of birds across Oregon as we approach the year 2020. Working together, we create an information legacy that will allow future citizens and scientists, decades and centuries from now, to compare bird populations in their time with those today.
Oregon 2020 relies on contributions from birders using eBird and the eBird Northwest portal. Birders have amazing skills that provide useful data when they simply collect and archive their observations. eBird is about more than managing our own species lists. It is about legacy. We want that legacy of data to be high quality. To support that, Oregon 2020 is conducting workshops and creating online tutorials to train birders in best practices when identifying, counting, and mapping birds and we coordinate County Blitzes on long weekends to socialize, explore, and count birds in relatively poorly studied portions of our state.
County blitzes are a lot like a Christmas Bird Count, except we count during the breeding season. The areas each person or team covers fall within a county. Each team visits 2 to 4 of our Hotspot Squares during the day, in addition to birding wherever they want. Then we rendezvous at the end of the day and share results and stories. In 2015, we have scheduled five breeding-season County Blitzes – join us here:
23 and 24 May: Sherman and Gilliam counties
30 and 31 May: Columbia and Clatsop counties
6 and 7 June: Wheeler County
13 and 14 June: northern Malheur County
27 and 28 June: Wallowa County
If you don’t like exploring too far from home, there is probably a Hotspot Square near you. Observations any time of year are valuable. So if you are headed out to your favorite local birding spot, check to see if there is a Hotspot Square nearby and make a few counts there, too. Even contributions of feeder birds are valuable. Most of us discount the value of our daily observations of common birds. Consider this: if you knew someone had counted birds at your favorite hotspot or in your current yard 300 years ago, would you take a look at those data to see how things have changed? Of course, you would! eBird allows us to make our observations today available to future birders. What’s normal and boring to you now may be very interesting in the not-so-distant future. Just log into eBird Northwest and report your observations.
Please contact us at Oregon2021@gmail.com (yes, that’s Oregon2021, not a typo) or visit our web site (Oregon2020.com) if you are interested.
Article by W Douglas Robinson