Science: Birds

Bird foraging guild graph
Figure 1. Total number of observed birds by guild during pre and post-dike removal monthly surveys at the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge. Data includes areas within the footprint of the Brown Farm Dike and the new enhanced freshwater wetland. Monthly data is based upon one bird survey. Dike was removed between the September and October 2009 surveys. The species encountered during each survey are listed in the table below. Click image above to enlarge.

Area bird counts are conducted every month at the site during high tide using binoculars and spotting scopes. The site is partitioned into 250 m UTM grids so that observers can reference the location in which birds are detected. Observers record grid #, bird species, number, behavior (i.e., foraging, roosting, calling, flyover, swimming) and habitat (i.e., mud flat, marsh plain, open water, aerial, upland or levee). Birds are grouped into foraging guilds for analyses and trends. Breeding birds or nests will be recorded if encountered. Bird species richness, density will be tracked over time and related to changes in sediment levels. The enhanced freshwater wetlands area are also included in these surveys.

Additional Resource: eBird online bird observation data for the Nisqually NWR »

Bird Species and Abundance: Nisqually NWR September 2009 - September 2012

View seasonal patterns of bird occurrence throughout the year for the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge »

Highlighted Species

Click on species below to access graphs of monthly survey data

American Wigeon Bald Eagle Cackling Goose Canada Goose Dunlin Great Blue Heron Northern Harrier Song Sparrow

Project Partners
Partners U.S. Geological Survey Nisqually Tribes U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service National Wildlife Refuge System Ducks Unlimited