Citizen Science

2024 P Ranch Christmas Bird Count

This year, 13 field birders navigated a partially dense patchy foggy and occasionally sunlit landscape that became fully engulfed by dreaded fog by end of the count.  Temperatures were mild (25-39) compared to last year’s record low of -18°F. The lack of snow, partially open water, relatively high number of observers and a day of scouting before the count combined for a high count.

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Christmas Bird Counts

Depending on which circles one moves in, Christmastime is also about birds —live birds, in situ. Not just basted turkeys. Nor that mixed flock of “four calling birds, three French hens, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree”. The Audubon Society’s Christmas Bird Count, a citizen science effort aimed at monitoring bird population trends on a massive scale, is a long-standing tradition dating back to 1901.

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Volunteer’s Reflection on IWJV Shorebird Survey

We set out along the Blitzen River, and soon we were in the vast expanse of the lake with birds EVERYWHERE!  The idea of “counting” seemed comical.  How do you count what must have been thousands of birds rising from the lake, circling, shifting?

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Shorebirds and Drought in Eastern Oregon

Throughout eastern Oregon and the Intermountain West migrating and nesting shorebirds depend on saline and freshwater lakes, playas, and nearby wetlands for refueling during migration and for breeding. For example, Wilson’s Phalarope use saline lakes throughout the region as stopover habitat.

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2022 Refuge CBC Summary

Seven field birders braved the frigid temperatures and snow-covered ground along with 2 feeder watchers at their home on the southern part of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge near Frenchglen to count birds for the annual Refuge Christmas Bird Count on Wednesday December 14.

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