JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Calling all Missouri birders! The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) needs volunteers to assist with five 2020 North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) routes to be surveyed one morning between May 27 and July 7.

The BBS is a long-term, large-scale, international bird monitoring program that started in 1966. The purpose of the BBS is to track the status and trends of North American bird populations. Each year during mostly June — the height of the bird-breeding season for most of the U.S. – BBS volunteers collect bird-population data along roadside survey routes to help. For more info on the BBS, visit pwrc.usgs.gov/bbs/.

Each survey route is 24.5 miles long with stops at half-mile intervals. At each stop, volunteers conduct three-minute point counts where they record data on the bird species and numbers they see or hear within a quarter-mile radius. Surveys must start one-half hour before sunrise and take about five hours to complete. Volunteers need only conduct their survey route once during the May 27 – July 7 survey period.

The five BBS route areas in Missouri that need volunteers are: Auburn, Kennett, Madison, New Point, and Richland. For more information or to volunteer, contact MDC Resource Scientist and MDC BBS Coordinator Janet Haslerig by email at Janet [DOT] Haslerig [AT] mdc [DOT] mo [DOT] gov or call 573-522-4115, ext. 3198.

Haslerig said volunteers need access to suitable transportation, must have good hearing and eyesight, and must be able to identify all birds in the area. All new BBS volunteers must successfully complete an online methodology training program before their data can be used.

She also stressed that knowing bird songs is extremely important. “Most birds counted on these surveys are singing males,” said Haslerig.

The annual BBS helps scientists determine bird populations and their threats.

“Bird populations have numerous, widespread threats

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