Citizen Science Opportunities

Fresno Audubon Society offers a variety of opportunities for people to contribute their bird observations in the service of science.

Christmas Bird Count

Prior to 1900 it was an American tradition to hunt birds on Christmas Day. The Christmas Bird Count (CBC) began on Christmas Day 1900 when the ornithologist Frank Chapman, an officer of the National Audubon Society, suggested that a census of birds be carried out instead of the traditional hunt. From this start we now have the longest running citizen science project, the Christmas Bird Count, which happens all across the Americas from December 14 to December 5. The data collected by 10’s of thousands of volunteers has been used to monitor the state of bird populations for over 100 years. The history of the CBC is described by the National Audubon Society here.

Fresno Audubon Society sponsors the Lost Lake Christmas Bird Count annually in December. The exact date changes from year to year and is determined in early December, so be sure to check our calendar to find out when this year’s CBC will take place.

San Joaquin River Parkway Native Plant Restoration Area Bird Surveys

Fresno Audubon Society (FAS) has teamed with the San Joaquin River Parkway and Conservation Trust to survey birds that are using the areas along the San Joaquin River (SJR) that are being restored with native vegetation. FAS has an executed agreement with the San Joaquin River Conservancy that allows our members access to any restricted areas along the river for this project. 

A committee of FAS members has been designing the protocol for the surveys. Our overarching goals were to 1) create a survey that can be easily repeated by citizen scientists and 2) provides useful data in an accessible database. 

To download the survey protocol, click here.

To download the summary presentation, click here.

To download the liability waiver for this project, click here.

Pacific Flyway Shorebird Survey

The Pacific Flyway Shorebird Survey enlists volunteers every fall to survey shorebirds in locally significant areas. We send out a call for volunteers each fall to survey Mendota State Wildlife Area, and occasionally the Los Banos State Wildlife Area and the Grasslands Ecological Area. To sign up for our newsletter and receive the invitation click here.