• ProjectsMountainsMountain BirdwatchParticipate

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

    2021 COVID-19 Update: Mountain Birdwatch operated at a reduced capacity in 2020. With vaccines rolling out, however, we’re really optimistic that June surveys can be safely conducted in 2021 while following all state and federal rules.  ~Jason Hill, Mountain Birdwatch Chief Scientist

    That could be you, in the photos above…

    celebrating your first Mountain Birdwatch route. For the last 20 years(!!!), 100-200 community 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. Whether this is your first year or 12th, Jason Hill, Mountain Birdwatch Chief Scientist, will be available via cell, email, and Zoom/Meet to answer your questions and personally guide you through the simple training materials and procedures. It’s a team effort here at Mountain Birdwatch–you can do this, and we’ll help you.

    Participating is easy: adopt a route (see map below) where you’ll conduct four back-to-back 5-minute point count surveys at 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 2021 (check back frequently). I’m currently (February, 2021) contacting observers from last year, and determining which routes are available.

    Purple = available for 2021!

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

    Green = adopted for 2021

    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 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 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 markers 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, one morning 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 Mountain Birdwatch!