At Oregon 2020, a couple of our goals are to share data and archive it in places where others can find the data and use it for good purposes. We know many of you are like-minded and wanted to share your observations, too. We work with our students at OSU to assist others in getting their data organized and entered into appropriate formats for sharing. Here we highlight some of our current collaborations to enter, manage, and archive in eBird long-term data that otherwise might not be accessible and achieve the recognition that it deserves.
A 28-year ongoing survey of birds in the shadow of Marys Peak
Jim and Karan Fairchild began keeping daily checklists of the birds they encountered on their 40-acre Alderspring property in 1985. These types of sustained and consistent efforts by the same observers to chart bird occurrences are really rare, so their data provide valuable insight into how the local diversity of birds has changed. Only this year did they start entering their data into eBird. We have worked with them to move data from their notebooks (nearly 6000 daily checklists worth of it!) into a format ready for sharing and archival in eBird. In the process, several students have learned how to enter, manage, and error check field data while helping us complete this project. Many thanks to Kerstin Beerweiler, Michael Brawner, Jenae Castanon, and ShyAnne Woods for working with us!
The raptor runners: winter surveys of raptors across Oregon
Many of you are very familiar with the winter raptor survey routes across Oregon led by Jeff Fleischer and supported by the East Cascades Audubon Society. Each of the 160 routes has many twists and turns following roads. To understand how birds are distributed along those routes, the data need to be associated with each segment of each route, not just the whole route. Our team has been inspecting every route, some of them over 100 miles along, and gathering GPS locations for each route segment. In the end, with the help of the volunteers running each route, we will get the data into a format that will be archived and shared in eBird. This will make all the data viewable by anyone who is interested and it sets up future analyses of trends in abundance by making the data properly geo-referenced and prepared for scientific studies. Thank you to Stephanie Crawford, Liz Johnson, and Tyler McFadden for your excellent help!
Gobs of Grosbeaks
Along with our undergraduate bird club, the OSU Bird Nerds, we have launched a project to monitor the annual influx of Evening Grosbeaks onto campus in Corvallis. Each April, hundreds to thousands of grosbeaks descend on campus to eat elms seeds that line our campus walkways. Evening Grosbeaks are thought to be declining nationally by as much as 7% per year. Yet, there are few formal survey data for this species. We are working together to start a benchmark survey of this spectacular bird right here on campus.