Sagebrush Songbird Survey

Happy Hill JD TT by Heather Findlay

Join us for our 6th and LAST year of the Sagebrush Songbird Survey! Do you enjoy mornings of melodic bird song and exploring wide open spaces of eastern Washington’s Columbia Plateau? If so, Please join Audubon Washington, local Audubon chapters, and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) in this community science project focused on sagebrush songbird conservation.

Photo (C) Kathy Criddle

Photo (C) Kathy Criddle

The Landscape

The sagebrush steppe is an iconic habitat of the western United States that once covered approximately 10.5 million acres of the Columbia Plateau ecoregion in Washington state. Today, these arid lands of sagebrush and native grasses have largely been converted to agricultural uses and fragmented by development, resulting in a loss of over 50% of our historic sagebrush habitat.  As a result, twenty-one bird species associated with shrub-steppe ecosystems are considered priority species for conservation.

The Need

We are interested in learning how sagebrush songbirds are distributed within the remaining areas of sagebrush steppe in eastern Washington. The breeding songbird presence data we collect through this project will be housed in eBird and the data will be used to (1) validate the Western Governors Association Crucial Habitat Assessment Tool distribution models and (2) update the WDFW Priority Habitat Species database. Ultimately, the Sagebrush Songbird Survey project will inform large-scale conservation projects and help wildlife values become incorporated  into multi-state land use, transportation, and energy planning.

The Survey

Participation in the Sagebrush Songbird Survey begins with local training sessions in March or April on field identification, survey protocol, GPS use, and eBird data entry that will prepare you to collect data in the field during three survey sessions – one each in April, May, and June. Come join us!

Information, Schedules, and Signup Contacts

Christi Norman, Audubon Washington:

Project Website