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    Join Mountain Birdwatch: hike mountains, count birds, & be merry!

    COVID-19 Mid-May Update: Due to travel and public land access restrictions, and health and safety concerns associated with COVID-19, Mountain Birdwatch is operating at a very limited capacity in 2020. We’re keeping it small and local. The situation continues to change by the week, but we’re asking all Mountain Birdwatch citizen scientists to follow all local, state, federal, and landowner restrictions when considering if they can/should survey their route this year. The health and safety of our citizen scientists and our neighbors and friends, is more important than biological survey data. If you’re interested in participating in Mountain Birdwatch, but haven’t already adopted a route, then please wait until the 2021 field season to get involved. I look forward to hearing from you then. Until then, be safe, well and kind.

    ~Jason Hill, MBW Chief Scientist

    That could be you, in the photos above…

    celebrating your first Mountain Birdwatch route. For the last 20 years, 100-200 citizen scientists have participated annually, and it’s easy to see why. With a short list of 10 birds and one loud mammal (red squirrel, a frequent nest predator) to survey, a simple protocol, concise training materials and one-on-one help for participants, just about any hiker with an interest in birds can join. You don’t have to be an expert–just enthusiastic. Participating is easy: adopt a route (see map below) where you’ll conduct repeated 5-minute point count surveys at just 3-6 locations on hiking trails on a single morning of your choice in June. There’s no other dataset like Mountain Birdwatch, which directly informs the management and conservation of montane ecosystems in the northeastern U.S. (see our Results & Publications page to learn about how we [and State, Federal, and NGOs] use your data). We’ve even now got Mountain Birdwatch T-shirts and hoodies!

    Interested in contributing one day of your time to science? Of course you are–young or old, experienced or untried–you can do this! Look at those photos up above! Getting started is easy.

    On the map below, each route’s color indicates its availability for 2020 (check back frequently). I’m currently (January, 2020) contacting observers from last year, and determining which routes are available.

    Purple = available for 2020!

    Gray = waiting for adoption confirmation from last year’s observer

    Orange = adopted for 2020

    Click on the full screen icon (upper right corner of the map below) to see the legend and to see the available (purple) routes–they get obscured by the more-frequent gray and orange dots. Click on the gray down arrow to expand the legend and to see the complete list of routes. Scroll down to the Available routes, and click on them to see more information about them. Once you adopt a route, it’s yours until you no longer want it. You can always switch routes in subsequent years. Email me (Jason Hill, jhill “at” vtecostudies.org) if you have any questions or if you already know which of the 129 routes you want to survey. I’ll personally walk you through everything. You can see photos and detailed hiking information for your desired route by clicking on the dots below. Alternatively, check out a full list of all the routes in New YorkVermontNew Hampshire, or Maine.

    Still wondering if you can do this? It’s only 10 bird species, 1 (loud, chattering) mammal, 1 one morning in June, and 1 incredible experience. Want a little extra help? I have two interns each summer who can meet you at your route, and help you through it. You don’t have to be an expert–just enthusiastic. You can do it–we’d love to have you be a part of Mountain Birdwatch!