Patuxent Wildlife Research Center

Breeding Bird Survey

12100 Beech Forest Road

Laurel, MD 20708-4038

www.pwrc.usgs.gov

 

Memorandum to Cooperators

 

SUMMER 2003

                                                                                                                                                           

 

CONTENTS C                                                        

1 C STOP LOCATION DATABASE                                                            4 C ROUTE MAPS

2 C BBS TRAINING  : New Recruits                                                            5 C WEB PAGE UPDATES

2 C 2002 COVERAGE                                                                                5 C STATE COORDINATORS

4 C AWARD RECIPIENTS                                                                         6 C NOTES FROM THE FIELD

                                                                                                                                                  

STOP LOCATION DATABASE

As announced in last year=s memo, we are now accepting geographic coordinates and stop descriptions for all BBS stops via the web.  In 2002, the stop coordinates for 206 routes were collected and submitted using the BBS web site; our thanks to everyone who provided these data!  (See the Geo-ref. Routes column of Table 1 for count of geo-referenced routes by state.)  But that still leaves over 3000 routes without geographic coordinate data.  So if you have a GPS unit, please take it on your next BBS run, or scouting trip, and collect those stop locations.  Our web site will accept location data in latitude/longitude (degrees/minutes/seconds or decimal degrees) or Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) formats.  To enter your stop location data follow the AData Entry@ link on the BBS web site (www.mp2‑pwrc.usgs.gov/bbs/) to the AStop Location Data@ link.  Instructions for entering these data are available at this site.  We recommend reading the instructions before collecting the data to help avoid wasted time and effort in the field.

 

If you do not have a GPS unit, we encourage you to input your written stop descriptions into the BBS database using this site as well.  If the stop descriptions are in the database, you will never have to worry about them being misplaced again.  For example, if after entering this information the hard copy of the stop descriptions are lost, just go to the BBS web site and print out a new copy.  If your route does not yet have written stop descriptions, please consider compiling a set this year, especially if you make a scouting trip or an assistant accompanies you.

 


Why go to the extra trouble of collecting stop locations?  Well, hopefully it won=t be much trouble especially if you already have a GPS unit and are familiar with its use.  In fact, we have had numerous BBS participants write to us saying how easy it is to navigate to their stops using a GPS unit.  This is especially true for routes in areas of the country with few landmarks.  Additionally, it will give land managers and researchers the information needed to explore other analyses of BBS data.  For example, once stop locations are known researchers can group them by habitat type using satellite imagery (i.e., MLRC) and then generate species-specific habitat trend estimates.

 

 

BBS TRAINING PROGRAM

If you are new to the BBS this year, you are required to complete the recently developed BBS Methodology training program before we can use your data.  The training program is available on CD-ROM from your state or national coordinator and on the BBS web site (www.mp2‑pwrc.usgs.gov/bbs/learning/).  The web version of the training program is mainly text-based, while the CD-ROM version is multi-media.  Although the web version of the program promises easier access, at least for those with Internet service, it may well be worth the extra effort to view the CD-ROM version.  This version contains two video clips, dynamic graphics, audio and recently placed favorably in an international multi-media product competition, winning the Award of Distinction in the Communicator=s Category.

 

Regardless of the format, the training programs supplement the written BBS instructions and take approximately 30 minutes to complete. Although completion of the methodology training program is only required for new participants, current BBS participants are also welcome and encouraged to take the training.

 

 

2002 ROUTE COVERAGE

Our thanks to everyone who participated in the 2002 BBS season!  A total of 2760 routes have been returned so far.  That=s 118 fewer routes than in 2001 (Table 1, page 3).  In the U.S., 2.1% fewer routes were returned, while in Canada 14.7% fewer routes were  returned by the time of this writing.  Three states showed promising increases in coverage by 9 or more routes.  They were Alaska, California, and Georgia.  Unfortunately these gains were off-set by losses of similar magnitude in Louisiana, Michigan, and North Dakota. 

 

Of more pressing concern is that in five states C  Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, New York, and Rhode Island C more than 50% of the routes are not being sampled, or the data are not being returned in a timely manner!  If you hail from any of these states, please help your coordinator by enlisting some of your qualified birder friends into the ranks of the BBS.  Other states that are in need of new recruits include: Arizona, California, Connecticut, Minnesota, Nevada, West Virginia, and Wyoming.  If you know of someone capable of conducting a BBS route, have them contact your state coordinator.

 

To get a better idea of your state=s route coverage compare the AAvailable Routes@ column to the A2002" column in Table 1.  If the difference between the two numbers is large, we need more participants in the state.  If this appears to be the case in your state, you should contact your state coordinator to see about picking up another route, or refer a good birder-friend to the state coordinator.  State coordinators are listed in this memo, and on the BBS web site.  Thank you for the help.


Table 1.  2001-2002 Coverage Summary

 

 

 

 

 

# of Routes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

# of Routes

 

 

 

State/Prov.

 

Available

Routes

 

2002

 

2001

 

Geo-ref.

Routes

 

 

 

State/Prov.

 

Available

Routes

 

2002

 

2001

 

Geo-ref.

Routes

 

AL

 

91

 

77

 

77

 

0

 

 

 

NB

 

31

 

19

 

23

 

1

 

AK

 

102

 

75

 

65

 

1

 

 

 

NF

 

29

 

8

 

8

 

1

 

AB

 

180

 

77

 

90

 

4

 

 

 

NH

 

23

 

20

 

20

 

1

 

AZ

 

67

 

35

 

43

 

1

 

 

 

NJ

 

28

 

18

 

23

 

0

 

AR

 

33

 

29

 

33

 

2

 

 

 

NM

 

64

 

57

 

60

 

4

 

BC

 

136

 

65

 

75

 

4

 

 

 

NY

 

112

 

54

 

59

 

0

 

CA

 

229

 

127

 

118

 

28

 

 

 

NC

 

95

 

95

 

71

 

0

 

CO

 

135

 

103

 

104

 

7

 

 

 

ND

 

44

 

29

 

40

 

0

 

CT

 

16

 

8

 

7

 

1

 

 

 

NS

 

29

 

18

 

25

 

1

 

DE

 

10

 

8

 

9

 

0

 

 

 

OH

 

68

 

46

 

55

 

4

 

FL

 

91

 

83

 

78

 

6

 

 

 

OK

 

64

 

39

 

38

 

1

 

GA

 

60

 

46

 

33

 

1

 

 

 

ON

 

193

 

62

 

75

 

0

 

ID

 

58

 

42

 

39

 

0

 

 

 

OR

 

122

 

74

 

74

 

4

 

IL

 

101

 

85

 

93

 

82

 

 

 

PA

 

109

 

96

 

91

 

0

 

IN

 

61

 

49

 

52

 

6

 

 

 

PR

 

44

 

27

 

27

 

0

 

IA

 

33

 

21

 

21

 

1

 

 

 

PEI

 

4

 

1

 

3

 

0

 

KS

 

61

 

52

 

52

 

2

 

 

 

PQ

 

162

 

43

 

50

 

0

 

KY

 

47

 

29

 

30

 

0

 

 

 

RI

 

5

 

1

 

1

 

0

 

LA

 

68

 

27

 

43

 

0

 

 

 

SK

 

86

 

28

 

40

 

0

 

NWT

 

11

 

6

 

6

 

5

 

 

 

SC

 

34

 

22

 

24

 

0

 

ME

 

70

 

39

 

34

 

0

 

 

 

SD

 

62

 

41

 

39

 

1

 

MB

 

67

 

47

 

44

 

0

 

 

 

TN

 

47

 

40

 

34

 

1

 

MD

 

59

 

50

 

50

 

4

 

 

 

TX

 

193

 

123

 

126

 

4

 

MA

 

24

 

16

 

16

 

0

 

 

 

UT

 

100

 

75

 

75

 

9

 

MI

 

83

 

38

 

50

 

3

 

 

 

VT

 

23

 

12

 

13

 

0

 

MN

 

86

 

46

 

51

 

2

 

 

 

VA

 

70

 

52

 

55

 

0

 

MS

 

37

 

14

 

22

 

0

 

 

 

WA

 

93

 

64

 

71

 

0

 

MO

 

53

 

41

 

36

 

1

 

 

 

WV

 

57

 

33

 

37

 

0

 

MT

 

65

 

54

 

55

 

2

 

 

 

WI

 

92

 

69

 

67

 

0

 

NE

 

46

 

36

 

34

 

0

 

 

 

WY

 

110

 

59

 

64

 

6

 

NV

 

42

 

23

 

20

 

1

 

 

 

YT

 

34

 

10

 

11

 

1

 

 

Canada

 

962

 

384

 

450

 

189

 

U.S.

 

3487

 

2376

 

2428

 

17

 

Total

 

4449

 

2760

 

2878

 

206

 


BBS AWARDS

With the completion of the 2002 BBS season 118 participants have earned the following BBS awards; the recipients names are listed in alphabetical order by last name below each award.  Congratulations to all and thank you again for your commitment to the BBS!

 

10-year BBS lapel pin C 88 recipients:

Jack Armstrong, Susan Bagby, Bruce Bartrug, Allen Batt, Judith Bell, Richard Bello, David Benson, Kathleen Bibby, Michael Borysewicz, Mark Brogie, Kevin Calhoon, Eva Crane, Joan Elias, Cynthia Ellis, Mark Elwonger, Vernon Enke, Thomas Evans, Lawrence Filter, William Fontenot, Venetia Friend, John Gee, Roy Gerig, Tanner Girard, John Grettenberger, Ruth Gronquist, Theresa Hartz, Ann Hines, Scott Horton, William Howe, Matthew Hunter, James Ingold, Judith Johnson, Jay Kaplan, Danny Kassebaum, James Knickelbine, Glen Kruse, Laura Lavalley, Len Lindstrand, Iii, Bill Lisowsky, Jo Loyd, Marion Luneau, John Mahon, Robert Mcginty, Dick Mcneely, Vivian Mendenhall, Ron Meyer, Dale Monette, Warren Nelson, Don Norman, Patricia O'connor, Charles Otte, Christine Paige, Mark Phipps, Vera Ralston, Richard Reynolds, Robert Rhodes, Robert Ross, Russ Schipper, Roger Schnoes, Thomas Schooley, Donald Schwab, Brenda Senturia, Jeff Sewell, Darrell Shambaugh, Julian Shepherd, Richard Sims, Beverly Skinner, Leanna Smith, Donald Snyder, Sylvestre Sorola, Kristine Sowl, Kevin Spencer, James Steele, Tim Stephens, Todd Strole, Ned Swanberg, Marjorie Tattersall, Dave Todt, Lynn Verlanic, Geri Walker, Gary Wayner, Larry Weber, Bill Willard, Daniel Williams, Brian Williams, Mike Wolder, Alexander Woollcott, and Richard Youel

 

20-year BBS key chain C 23 recipients:

Paul Adamus, Robert Ake, Linda Alverson, Chris Baer, William Bogacki, Alison Bolduc, Daniel Brown, Barbara Duerksen, Mary Eberwein, Frederick Fallon, Thomas Feiro, David Freeland, George Gerdts, Steve Gniadek, Helen Griffith, Katherine Haws, Timothy Matson, Bruce Peterjohn, Michael Porter, Jerry Probst, Georgann Schmalz, Martin St. Louis, and Meryl Sundove

 

30-year BBS cap C 8 recipients:

H. Bohlen, Elizabeth Brooks, Noel Cutright, George Kamm, Edmund Martinez, Nancy Stevenson, Jack Tyler, and Charles Viers

 

50 Routes cumulative (Birds of North America field guide) C 8 recipients:

Roger Clark, Roger Clay, Deanna Dawson, Raymond Ekstrom, Tom Heindel, Daniel Rice, Jack Tyler, and William Vermillion

 

ROUTE MAPS

Please return your route maps each year!  Over 500 maps were not returned after the 2002 BBS season causing weeks of wasted effort as we copy new maps and re-highlight route paths in preparation for the 2003 season.  Many think they are doing us a favor by keeping the maps since they intend to run the route again but this is not the case.  Plans change and the route may be assigned to another observer, who will need a new map.  Moreover, we often  do not know whether someone kept the map intentionally or if it was lost.  Thus in order to prepare for the next BBS season and update our permanent map records we need you to return the maps with your data in a timely manner each year.  Thank you for your cooperation.


BBS WEB PAGE (www.pwrc.usgs.gov/bbs/)

We now have a link from the BBS web site to the NBII Bird Conservation Node.  As mentioned last year, this node will provide access to many of the major bird monitoring and habitat databases in North America.  Initially the node only presented about three years of BBS data, but by this spring the entire BBS data set (1966 C present) will be accessible for mapping using this on-line  application.  In addition to presenting BBS bird data, it also displays the locations of vacant routes in each state.  This could come in handy if you are thinking about picking up an additional route.

 

Photo Gallery C We thank D. Potter and P. Morissey for photos from their Massachusetts route,  M. McConaughy for photos of his Pennsylvania route, and R. Bell and G. Cronenberger for sharing a photo of their BBS foray.  To see their photos and many others, visit the Photo Gallery on the BBS web site by clicking the ABBS News@ link.

 

 

REQUEST FOR SLIDES

The BBS needs slides or color photos of you, your BBS route, and birds.   Some will be posted on the BBS web site (See the BBS Web Page section of this memo.), and others used in presentations or publications.  Once submitted the slides become the property of the BBS and may be used on the Internet or in government publications.  No monetary compensation can be provided if the slides are used, but we will happily credit the photographer.  Clearly print the photographer=s name, location of the scene, and date on the slide border or reverse side of the photo.  Also include the names of any people depicted in the picture if different from the photographer.  Thanks for your help!

 

 

STATE COORDINATORS

Several changes have occurred among the state coordinators since last year.  Most notably, after more years than most care to remember, Bill Carter, George Hall, Dennis Forsythe, and Dan Rice have retired from their respective coordinator positions in Oklahoma, West Virginia, South Carolina, and Ohio.  Our sincere thanks for their fine service over the years.  Also please join us in welcoming the following new coordinators and co-coordinators: Lyann Comrack (CA), Andy Forbes (MO), Tom Fox (WV), Doug Harr (IA), Anthony Hertzel (MN), Scott Hull (OH), Steve Matsuoka (AK), Dan Reinking (OK), and Steve Wagner (SC).  State coordinator contact information.

 

Vacancy C We are looking for a motivated individual to coordinate BBS activities in Rhode Island.  Candidates should be familiar with the BBS, and have good bird identification and networking skills.  Relatively speaking, Rhode Island is an easy gig with only four routes in the state to keep filled.  Interested parties should contact Keith Pardieck (Keith_Pardieck@usgs.gov).

 

Current state coordinator contact information is always available on the BBS web page via the AContact Us@ link.

 

 


STORIES FROM THE FIELD

Many participants in the southwest, like Bill Willard who conducts the Mount Taylor, NM BBS route, ran into to trouble sampling their routes in 2002 due to the drought the region has been experiencing recently.  Because of the dry conditions access to public forests, and consequently portions of BBS routes that run through these forests, is often restricted to reduce the risk of forest fires.  If this was the case for your route, be aware that it may be possible to get special dispensation from the appropriate land manager (i.e., Forest Service) to run your route.  In most cases, this may be arranged through discussions with the Forest or District Ranger.  However, if a more formal request is required, the national BBS office will be happy to assist in the process.  To the Forest Service=s credit, Bill was given permission to run his route which crosses through the Cibola National Forest, and was treated to the sight of a Black Bear to boot!

 

At stop 46 on the McBrayer, KY BBS route, Steven Thomas began to question his sanity.  Between  the familiar notes of Eastern Meadowlark songs and rasping calls of American Crows he heard something strange.  Quietly at first, the odd whisper pulled at his mind, dragging long dormant memories back into focus.  Images of Johnny Weismueller swinging through the African rainforest and childhood visits to the zoo flashed through his mind.  ABut I am in central Kentucky,@ he quickly reassured himself.  And then more insistently the whisper grew into a cacophony of Awoops@ and howls, transporting him to a far away jungle; half-expecting a Quetzal to fly out of the lush foliage surrounding him, the din grew quiet.  And once again he stood on the familiar McBrayer BBS route.  Although non-birders may always question the sanity of BBS participants, Steven later confirmed that his own sanity was still intact.  The deafening noise and the images they evoked were provided by monkeys housed at a primate rehabilitation center recently built near stop 46.

 

Several people saw predators of the four-legged variety while conducting their BBS routes.  Greg Greer saw a gray fox with rabbit al dente on the Pine Grove, AL route.  A coyote passed by Brian Parker on the East Dennis, MA route, while a wolf visited Laura Erickson on the Hart Lake, MN route.  In Washington, Mike Borysewicz passed a mountain lion as he approached stop 1 of the Sullivan Lake 2 route.

 

BETTER LATE THAN NEVER

Do you have BBS data from previous years that was never sent in?  Remember, it is never too late.  Whether it is 1 or 25 years old, we can still use it.  While we don=t wish to promote late data submission, don=t throw it out just because it=s a year or two old.  Send it to us!

 

 

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

Besides the thousands of you in the field, I would also like to thank Michael Glorioso, Marc Hathaway, and Alan Hedin for their outstanding help at the BBS office during the 2002 season.

 

Good luck & good birding in 2003!

 

Keith Pardieck

Keith_Pardieck@usgs.gov

301/497-5843