Thursday, April 2, 2009

U.S Nightjar Surveys

Recently there have been a lot of announcements on the birding list-servs about the U.S Nightjar Survey Network conducted by the Center for Conservation Biology. This is the first long-term attempt to count nightjars in the United States.

The program was started because conservationists and the general public had begun to realize that nightjar populations were declining but there was no scientific evidence to support these thoughts. In order to gain insight into this problem, the program has created hundreds of routes consisting of 10 roadside stops spaced 1 mile apart. At each stop, for a 6 minute period, the observer counts all of the nightjars that they hear. Each route is only completed once per year during a specific date range. There are many vacant routes around the country and volunteers are desperately needed to make this project a huge success. It is very easy to complete these routes and many nightjar calls are not very difficult to learn.

Check out the project and volunteer to cover a route by visiting http://www.ccb-wm.org/nightjars.htm.

To learn more about nightjars, we recommend checking out this book Nightjars: A Guide to the Nightjars, Frogmouths, Potoos, Oilbird and Owlet-nightjars of the World.

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