Secretive Wetland Bird Monitoring

Surveying Secretive Wetland Birds
A Citizen Science Monitoring Effort
 in Northwest Washington

American BitternMany wetland birds, like the American Bittern, are secretive, cryptically colored, and often overlooked and under-documented by traditional landscape monitoring efforts like the Breeding Bird Survey or Christmas Bird Count. For other wetland associated species, such as Marsh Wren and Willow  Flycatcher, there are questions about how they will fare in the face of climate change (National Audubon Society 2014).

This effort will help document population trends for wetland species that are often under detected by traditional bird survey methods. American Bittern (Botaurus lentiginous) is the primary target species for this survey effort. Based on the American Bittern nesting habitat preferences, Puget Sound Bird Observatory is proposing to monitor wetland sites that are greater than 7 acres, Palustrine Emergent or Palustrine Scrub-Shrub and accessible for a citizen science effort.

Surveys will start Spring 2016. To find out more about the project or to volunteer to help with monitoring, contact Cindy Easterson at