• ProjectsMountainsMountain BirdwatchParticipate

    Join Mountain Birdwatch in 2023: hike mountains, count birds, & be merry!

    Mountain Birdwatch Scientists on their survey routes.

    That could be you, in the photos above…

    celebrating your first Mountain Birdwatch route like hundreds of other community scientists have over the last 23 years. With a short list of only 10 birds and one loud chattering mammal (red squirrel) 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. Jason Hill, Mountain Birdwatch Chief Scientist, will be available via cell, email, and Zoom (every Wednesday from 12-1 during April and May) to answer your questions and personally guide you through the simple training materials and procedures. [If that Zoom time doesn’t work then we’ll find a time that does for you] It’s a team effort here at Mountain Birdwatch–you can do this, and we’ll help you.

    Participating is easy:

    1. pick an available route from the interactive map below and reach out to Jason Hill ();
    2. Jason will answer all your questions, help you decide if Mountain Birdwatch is right for you, and walk you through the training materials;
    3. learn the songs and calls of the 11 monitored species and review the simple protocol;
    4. choose any day in June that works with your schedule and the weather. Hike up the mountain the day before, and scout your route. The next morning you’ll get up early and conduct four back-to-back 5-minute point count surveys at 3-6 sampling stations on a hiking trail;
    5. hike to the summit to celebrate(!);
    6. enter your data online and scan or mail in your datasheets and congratulations–you’re finished until next June!

    We’re not quite ready to adopt out routes for the 2023 season just yet. Once we are (~March, 2023), the map below will be updated to show the adoption status of all the routes in 2023. The map below is for last season’s 2022 surveys, at the moment, where each route’s color indicates its availability for the Mountain Birdwatch sampling season in June.

    Purple = was available for 2022. Email Jason Hill ().

    Gray = limbo land. Waiting to hear back from last year’s observer

    Green = already adopted for 2022

    Click on the full screen icon (upper right corner of the map below) to see the legend and the available routes–they get obscured by the more-frequent green markers. 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 Jason Hill () if you have any questions or if you already know which route(s) you want to survey. Jason will personally walk you through everything. You can see photos and detailed hiking information for your desired route by clicking on the markers below. Alternatively, check out a full list of all the routes within New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, or Maine.

    Still wondering if you can do this? It’s only 10 bird species, 1 (very loud) mammal, one day in June, and 1 incredible experience. You don’t have to be an expert–just enthusiastic. You can do it–we’d love to have you be a part of the Mountain Birdwatch team!