[Tweeters] Volunteers needed for Short-eared Owl survey in eastern Washington

Buchanan, Joseph B (DFW) Joseph.Buchanan at dfw.wa.gov
Fri Jan 4 11:33:51 PST 2019

Tweeters -
We are again conducting a survey in search of Short-eared Owls at 50 locations in eastern Washington. The overall study area includes parts of eight western states (California, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming) and last year involved 662 volunteers. The survey is road-based and consists of a route with 9 - 11 stations visited once during each of two survey windows: 1 - 21 March and 22 March - 15 April. Each survey has a specific start time and takes no more than 90 minutes to complete (evening/dusk). In 2018, volunteers established survey routes within 50 randomly-selected grid cell locations. (Grid cells are outlined in red lines on the survey maps.) Survey stations were situated at 0.5-mile intervals and were established in safe settings (e.g., wide shoulder) adjacent to cover types used by Short-eared Owls: grasslands, marsh, riparian and agricultural areas. The location of survey stations can be modified slightly by volunteers as long as stations remain within the grid cell. Volunteer participants will conduct surveys by stopping at stations to search for Short-eared Owls from the roadside, followed by a short assessment of vegetation cover types in the vicinity of the station. Volunteers must provide their own transportation, and be able to identify Short-eared Owls, follow the survey protocol, and register for a survey location online. Training videos that describe all aspects of the project and data collection procedures are available on the project website (<http://avianknowledgenorthwest.net/citizen-science/short-eared-owls>). To register, scroll down the main page and click the WAfLS sign-up button (lower left). The page that pops up will include a map of western USA that shows all routes when you zoom in. Below the map, click on "Washington sign-up page." That link will show a sequential list of survey sites (WA-1, WA-2, etc., up to WA-50 [sites in the WA-80s are not available for volunteers]); green buttons on the right side indicate survey routes that are still available. The 2018 project report is also on the website. I am available to answer questions about the project.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Joe Buchanan
Washington Coordinator, Western Asio flammeus Landscape Survey (WAfLS)
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
Joseph.Buchanan at dfw.wa.gov

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