Join KBO board members Amanda Alford and Dick Ashford for an all-day outing on March 18th, where we’ll look at everything the Klamath Basin has to offer. Dick and Amanda will plan a route that will give us our best chances of seeing the varied birdlife for which “the basin” is famous. And, we’ll have lots of fun doing it!
You aren’t going to want to miss this waterfowl and raptor adventure!
This trip will be limited to 14 registrants, and we will carpool in 4 vehicles (max). The cost is $40 per participant, register below.
KBO is looking to fill two positions Nest-Searching Technician and a Nest-Searching Intern for our Oregon Vesper Sparrow demography research program. We are contributing to a range-wide study to understand the causes of decline in this imperiled subspecies. Primary duties will include nest-searching and color-band resighting in meadows of the western Cascades and occasional data entry or other tasks based.
Over the last several years, KBO field crews spent their spring mornings diligently watching Vesper Sparrows go about their business. The birds typically arrive from their wintering grounds in mid to late April and begin to settle in for the summer breeding season. We have witnessed the males defending their territories and attracting mates, watched as they paired up and the females began nest building, and observed them incubating their eggs and raising their young (for an intern’s account of his experience nest-searching, read his blog on the KBO Call Note). Field crews have located over 100 nests! Preliminary findings suggest nest success is within the expected range for a ground-nesting bird and likely not a cause for concern, although late-season hail and snow in 2021 caused the failure of many nests. Changes in spring weather patterns may exacerbate threats to this species in high-elevation meadows.
Resighting efforts have taken place annually to keep track of how many of these banded birds survive and return to the area year after year. Early findings show lower return rates for juveniles, which is not surprising because young birds are more likely to leave home and disperse to a different site for their first breeding season. After resighting efforts are completed in 2023, we will estimate the annual survivorship of adult males and females and fledglings. Join us in the endeavor to understand the Oregon Vesper Sparrow!
Klamath Bird Observatory is well known for its wide international reach, focusing on partnerships and capacity building across the ranges of our shared birds. KBO’s bird banding internship program has trained over 283 interns from more than 17 countries. The Mantiqueira Bird Observatory (OAMa) is a fruit of this capacity-building program, which is now running its own training program in Brazil. As part of the continued partnership between these two observatories, we are pleased to announce a new internship exchange program! After training in their home country, biologists will have the opportunity to visit and train at the other observatory. KBO will host a student from OAMa for three or six months each year, and OAMa will host a student from KBO for up to three months at their field station in Brazil, joining the local crew at the year-round bird monitoring on the Mantiqueira Highlands.
We are excited to share the first two interns participating in this program!
Otávio Rocha pictured to the left is OAMa’s Science Communication and Outreach Assitant. They will be traveling to KBO to train in the 2023 banding season.
“It is a great honor to participate in this exchange program as an OAMa representative. I am excited to start a new stage in my career and to apply all this rich experience in Brazilian biodiversity conservation initiatives.”
Victor Gonzalez, pictured on the right, was an intern in the 2022 banding season and will be traveling to Brazil to train with the OAMa staff as a KBO representative.
“The opportunity of this exchange internship is a blessing, being able to go to another bird observatory to learn from and work with. As a bird bander, it feels unreal going to a place you don’t know any of the birds, but at the same time, it feels like the best opportunity to try myself and keep improving in my professional career.”
Please help us support these amazing young scientists with a donation that will go to their travel and lodging. You can donate to the Avian Internship Memorial Fund. This fund was set up by the family and friends of Patricia Buettner to help support KBO’s long-running internship program.
These interns will also be supported by the FUNdraiser trip to Brazil happening April 12th-20th, 2023. There are only three spots left for this trip. The total cost is $5,000, due February 10th; this includes hotels, food (breakfast, lunch, dinner), and transportation (to and from the airport and during the trip). You can learn more HERE.
Join KBO’s dynamic duo Director of Conservation Jaime Stephens and Board President Shannon Rio for a memorable 9-day trip to Brazil, April 12th – 20th, 2023. This trip will be guided by past KBO intern and co-founder of Mantiqueira Bird Observatory (OAMa) Luiza Figueira. The cost of this trip includes hotels, food (breakfast, lunch, dinner), and transportation (to and from the airport and during the trip). The total cost of the trip is $5,000, $2500 to reserve your seat, and the total amount is due by February 10th. With 12 people attending these funds will cover a FULL YEAR of OAMa’s banding program. It will also be used to help support a student intern that is participating in KBO OAMa’s intern exchange program.
Looking for a New Years’ resolution? How about learning more about nature? Start by joining Dick Ashford for a talk and outing about hawks, some of nature’s most graceful creatures.
The talk will be hosted in person at the Klamath Bird Observatory office in Ashland, OR on January 5th, 6 pm – 8:30 pm. Then, enjoy a day-long outing to the Klamath Basin on Jan 7th. We’ll depart Ashland at 8 AM and return around 5-ish. To afford everyone the best possible experience, attendance is limited. We will carpool (a must!) in 4 vehicles of 4 people each. Your seat will be confirmed upon receipt of your non-refundable, tax-deductible contribution of $75 per person.
These surveys are completed year-round, but data collected during the breeding season are KBO’s current focus of analysis. While migration and winter habitat are also essential for birds, it’s easier to obtain reliable bird counts during the breeding season because male birds sing consistently to attract mates and mark their territories. Survey data are collected and stored using eBird NW, an easy-to-use tool for community scientists and professional biologists to input bird sightings and contribute to a worldwide database.
The surveys were done at seven sites between Central Point and Ashland. Five of those sites were burned during the 2020 Almeda and Central Point Fires, providing a unique opportunity to observe the changes in bird populations immediately after a fire and long-term post-fire recovery. In spring 2021, there was a notable difference between birds considered habitat generalists and riparian specialists. American Robin, a ground-foraging generalist, was equally or more abundant in burned sites than unburned sites. At the same time, riparian specialists Yellow-breasted Chat and Yellow Warbler were much more common in unburned sites in the post-fire conditions of 2021. By 2022, there had been substantial regrowth of willow, ash, and cottonwood seedlings that these species can use as nesting and foraging habitat. American Robin abundance decreased, while Yellow-breasted Chat and Yellow Warbler increased or remained stable across most sites.
A set of 13 focal bird species were identified to help assess habitat quality along Bear Creek. The species used are expected to be common in a healthy riparian habitat in southern Oregon. In 2022, only one of the seven sites had ten or more focal species in sufficient numbers: North Mountain Park. This gave Bear Creek Greenway a poor rating. This isn’t unexpected with the Greenway being located in a relatively urban setting and the impact of the 2020 fires on riparian vegetation. This snapshot of Bear Creek riparian bird population health may improve with natural vegetation regrowth, and active restoration efforts are underway. Bear Creek Community Bird Survey data will provide a measuring stick for tracking future changes in bird populations that may occur due to ongoing restoration efforts (or adverse effects of habitat loss, climate change, etc.).
The results of this effort will be combined with other metrics collected by RRWC or other partners (water quality parameters, fish abundance, fish habitat accessibility, affordable housing, air quality, etc.) to create a Rogue River Basin Report Card that will be useful for tracking watershed and community conditions, as well as for community outreach. The first report card is scheduled for release in Spring 2023. In 2023, RRWC plans to expand the current survey to additional watersheds in the Rogue River Basin.
Join KBO for drinks on Tuesday, December 20th, 5 pm – 8 pm at Lune Cafe in Ashland, OR. $2 from every specialty cocktail or lemonade will be donated to KBO. You can also purchase tickets for a 50/50 raffle. It is the perfect way to have drinks with family and friends this holiday season and support a local conservation organization. Can’t make it on the 20th? This holiday fundraiser runs till December 31st.
Join Klamath Bird Observatory and Mantiqueira Bird Observatory (OAMa) for a 9-day exploration of Brazil to promote bird and habitat conservation beyond borders. Enjoy hiking and birding in the cloud forests of Brazil with local scientists leading the way. Time to explore a local town and enjoy Brazilian cuisine. Attend a bird photography workshop and watch OAMa science in action at their banding station.
With all 12 seats filled, this trip funds a fantastic opportunity for budding biologists.
Klamath Bird Observatory is well known for its broad international reach, focusing on partnerships and capacity building across the ranges of our shared birds. KBO’s bird banding internship program has trained over 283 interns from more than 17 countries. OAMa is a fruit of this capacity-building program, which is now running its training program in Brazil. As part of the continued partnership between these two observatories, we are pleased to announce a new internship exchange program! After training in their home country, biologists will have the opportunity to visit and train at the other observatory. KBO will host a student from OAMa for three or six months each year, and OAMa will host a student from KBO for up to three months at their field station in Brazil, joining the local crew at the year-round bird monitoring on the Mantiqueira Highlands.
In addition to supporting the intern exchange program, this trip will fund OAMa’s banding station for an ENTIRE YEAR! That includes six interns and one banding coordinator. Currently, OAMa is the only banding training program in Brazil.
The trip takes place April 12th – 20th, with travel to and from the U.S. extending the dates as needed on both ends. The cost is $5000 per person; this includes hotels, food (breakfast, lunch, dinner), and transportation (to and from the airport and during the trip). Hotel accommodation includes a double occupancy or single occupancy with a private bathroom. The only thing not included is airfare from the US to Brazil.
A $2500 deposit is required to reserve your seat; final payment is due by February 10. Proof of up-to-date Covid vaccination and liability waiver are also due at that time. Covid and liability waiver can be found here. A portion of the total fee is tax deductible; the specific amount will depend on the number of attendees. Both the deposit and final payment are non-refundable unless a replacement is found. We reserve the right to cancel before February 10th if the trip does not fill with a minimum of seven attendees.
Klamath Bird Observatory follows CDC guidelines. KBO events are being offered with COVID-19 safety as KBO’s primary concern. Proof of vaccination will be required for all in-person participants. All individuals attending an event must also fill out the Waiver of Liability form. Please do not attend the event if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. Masks are not required but wear based on comfortability.
Thank you to everyone that attended the world premiere of the short documentary “From the Field – A Study of the Oregon Vesper Sparrow” by Daniel Thiede at Vesper Meadow Restoration Preserve. We are beyond grateful to have partners like Jeanine Moy, Director of the Vesper Meadow Education Program, who provided the space for this event and continues to support our research.
At this event, we celebrated Indigenous Peoples’ Day by acknowledging the land on which we work as traditionally occupied and cared for by the Takelma, Shasta, Modoc, and Latgawa peoples; and heard from Jeanine about how her program is working with local tribes to recenter Tribal members at Vesper Meadow, integrate traditional knowledge into restoration practices, and provide access to their ancestral homelands, First Foods, and other resources. Attendees also heard a short talk from KBO Research Biologist Sarah Rockwell about Oregon Vesper Sparrow research, took a short walk to view the first Motus wildlife tracking station in Oregon and a satellite node, and enjoyed the video premiere.
We are officially releasing the documentary for public viewing. Join Daniel and KBO on a journey to understand the ecology of the at-risk Oregon Vesper Sparrow and the causes of its decline. Daniel covers the life history of this handsome little brown bird and the field methods and new technology that KBO is employing to study its life cycle year-round. Through beautiful imagery and graphics, he tells the story of KBOs’ continuing research to understand the decline of the Oregon Vesper Sparrow, a subspecies of conservation concern unique to the Pacific Northwest, and look for solutions.
Don’t forget to check out our website and learn more about the Oregon Vesper Sparrow and KBO’s work. The Oregon Wildlife Foundation funded the Vesper Sparrow video. Our ongoing Oregon Vesper Sparrow research has been supported by the BLM’s National Conservation Lands Management Studies Support Program, Carpenter Foundation, Charlotte Martin Foundation, Friends of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, MPG Ranch, Oregon Conservation and Recreation Fund, Oregon Wildlife Foundation, Oregon Zoo’s Future for Wildlife Fund, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.