BBS routes available
We invite qualified observers to participate in the Breeding Bird Survey. Participants must have the skills to identify the likely species on their routes by sight and by sound. We have a "training" video that explains the protocol that I'll send to you if you commit to taking a route.
Since 1966 (1968 in Colorado and the West) the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, originally US Fish & Wildlife Service, and now the Biological Research Division of the US Geological Survey, has sponsored the Breeding Bird Survey program to monitor birds across the US (and Canada, with the Canadian Wildlife Service). In 2004, volunteers ran almost 3000 routes in theUS & Canada . They call the project the "Breeding Bird Survey" hence "BBS."
Colorado has 132 designated BBS routes, and we consistently run more routes than all other states in the U.S. except Texas and California . (We only ran about 70% of those routes in 2005, sorry to say.) Scientists use results from the BBS to derive population trends for the species that the system samples well. Right now we have14 routes without observers for 2006.
A BBS route covers 24.5 miles. Observers record all the birds they hear and see during a 3-minute stop, then drive a half-mile to the next stop. You run the route, once only, during the peak of the songbird singing season, from May 25 on the plains to June 30 in the high country. The ability to identify species by sound is crucial--I estimate that I record 75-85% of the birds on my routes by sound, not sight.
We seek a commitment of three years, because the BBS doesn't use route data unless the same person runs it for at least 3 years. The observer should have the ability to identify, by sound and sight, most of the species likely to occur along that route.
Let me know if you would like one or more. The following list is organized geographically (sort of) from north to south.
Starts 5 miles north of U.S. 24 on Road 77 and follows Tarryall River 24.5 miles.
17218 Wet Mts Custer/Fremont p. 72
Five miles south of Canon City, start at intersection of CRs 143 and 80; south on CR 143 (Oak Creek Grade Rd.); it turns into Custer CR 271, Colo. 96, and CR 347 (Rosita Road) to end.
17318 Gribbles Park Fremont p. 61
From Gribbles Park, east on CR 2 to Colo. 9; south on Colo. 9 to CR 11; follow CR 11 to end.
17324 South Fork Rio Grande p. 79 & 89
A mile south of South Fork: South on Forest Roads 360 and 332 up Beaver Creek past Cross Creek campground, Crystal Lakes, and Fuch Res. to end.
17358 Piceance Basin Rio Blanco p. 33
Start on CR 5 1.5 miles east of CR 3 (Collins Gulch); north on CR 5 along Piceance Creek to CR 24; west on CR 24 and 24X; left (west) on CR 80 to end.
17021 Lamar Prowers and Kiowa p. 103
Start 8 mi. NE of Lamar; N on Rd13; E on Rd SS; N on Rd 62 and 61 to end near Chivington Res.
17321 Sheridan Lake Prowers and Kiowa p. 103
Start 12 mi. N. of Highway 50, halfway between Granada and Holly; N on Prowers CR 30 which turns into Kiowa CR 71; then E on CR W to end.
17319 Ellicott El Paso p. 63
Start 2 miles S of Hanover: N 25 miles on Peyton Highway
17027 Gilpin Bent p. 101
Starts 4 miles south of Las Animas; east on County Road BB 4 miles; south on County Road 16 8 miles, west on County Road T 4 miles, south on Colo. 101 3 miles, west and then south on County Road 11 to end, near Setchfield State Wildlife Area.
328 Pritchett Baca p. 100
From 11 miles south of Pritchett, north on County Road 11 to end (24.5 miles).
376 Ludlow Las Animas p. 93
Starts at Ludlow; west on County Road 44, south on County Road 51.1, south of 47.7 and 51.1 through Boncarbo to Cokedale.
17419 Doyle Bridge 2 Pueblo p. 73 and 98
Start 15 miles SE of Pueblo; NE on CR 702 704, 711, 10, 711, and 714 to end.