New Jersey Audubon (NJA) is currently recruiting volunteers for shorebird surveys coordinated through the Citizen Science Program. Participants must have some prior experience in shorebird identification and be willing to commit three days a month in August, September and October to conducting bird surveys.
These ongoing shorebird surveys, initiated in 2004, have provided current information on migration stopover sites along New Jersey’s Atlantic coast for Red Knots, American Oystercatchers and other shorebirds. Moreover, these data are raising awareness among state and federal agencies in New Jersey about the cumulative importance of many smaller stopovers and the growing impact from human disturbance. Thus, Citizen Science surveys are having a significant positive effect on the conservation of migrant shorebird habitats in New Jersey.
Shorebird citizen scientists are needed for the New Jersey Meadowlands and coastal sites, especially ones in Cape May and Atlantic Counties. Shorebird volunteers are required to survey their site every 10 days (and at least 5 days apart) during southbound (fall) migration: July 15th to October 31st. Training in identification and count methodology will be provided by NJ Audubon during two workshops in late July, one in the NJ Meadowlands (tentatively scheduled for July 23rd) and one in South Jersey (tentatively the week of July 18).
The NJA Citizen Science program is a collaborative effort of NJA and the NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife’s Endangered and Nongame Species Program (ENSP). Data collected will further our knowledge of bird distribution and abundance in New Jersey.