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Citizen Scientists Needed for Short-eared Owl Surveys

Klamath Bird Observatory is partnering with Intermountain Bird Observatory to launch the pilot year of the Western Asio Flammeus Landscape Study (WAfLS) in Oregon. This citizen science project, now spanning eight western states, is designed to gather information to better evaluate the population status of the Short-eared Owl. The Oregon Conservation Strategy has identified the Short-eared Owl as a Species of Greatest Conservation Need and the National Audubon Society Climate Initiative has identified the species as Climate Endangered. This pilot survey is a critical starting point to fill information gaps for this species in Oregon. Results will directly influence high-value conservation actions by state and federal agencies. We are looking to recruit dedicated volunteers to help complete this state-wide survey.

WAfLS volunteers will enjoy rural Oregon at twilight while completing two road-based surveys during late winter and early spring. The surveys consist of driving on secondary roads, stopping at 8 to 11 points to complete a five-minute survey. At each point volunteers will record detections of Short-eared Owl as well as some brief habitat information. The entire survey is completed within 90 minutes. Training material will be provided and no experience is necessary to volunteer. Participants will need to follow field and data entry protocols, have use of a vehicle, smartphone or GPS device, and be able to identify a Short-eared Owl.

CLICK HERE to visit the WAfLS project website for more details including the protocol, survey maps, past years’ reports and publications and how to sign-up.

Contact Ellie Armstrong at for any questions regarding the Oregon surveys.

Help fill these information gaps by signing up for a survey!