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.
To align KBO’s staffing to meet this forest bird conservation need, we are developing a new conservation delivery program area to help us further focus and scale up our efforts to translate science into even more conservation action. This new program area is poised for success because Jaime Stephens, who has been a leader at KBO for over 20 years, will be taking on a new role as KBO’s first Director of Conservation. Jaime has served as KBO’s long-time Science Director for many years, leading our extensive monitoring and research efforts. As the Science Director, Jaime has worked tirelessly to develop the partnerships and deliver our science, helping to grow KBO’s direct involvement in on-the-ground conservation efforts. These efforts have reached a level that warrants the creation of this new position.
To help us tell the story about how sustained forest management investments in the Klamath Siskiyou Bioregion may benefit birds, we invited Executive Director Terry Fairbanks from the Southern Oregon Forest Restoration Collaborative (SOFRC) to provide a testimonial. KBO is bringing multiple voices to the table to coalesce around a forest conservation movement to ensure investment if forest restoration benefits birds and people. As we restore our forest from years of fire suppression using birds to guide conservation action and evaluate restoration success, we are telling a complete ecosystem story. KBO Executive Director John Alexander, a contributor to the Report, gave a live interview with Jefferson Exchange host Geoffrey Riley, discussing this story. Terry Fairbanks’s video interview and John’s recorded interview can both be found in this blog.
The updated Partners in Flight Conservation Strategy for Landbirds in Sagebrush-Steppe and Riparian Habitats of Eastern Oregon and Washington (Rockwell 2022) brings forward recommendations to assist the planning efforts and habitat management actions of land managers and stimulate monitoring and research to support landbird conservation. This document encompasses sagebrush-steppe, riparian, and unique habitats in several ecoregions including the Owyhee Uplands, Northern Great Basin (sometimes referred to as Basin and Range), and High Lava Plains in Oregon, the Palouse Prairie in Washington, and the Columbia Basin in Washington and Oregon but also including an extension up the Okanagan Valley to the Canadian border.
A newly released State of the Birds report for the United States reveals a tale of two trends, one hopeful, one dire. Historically we have demonstrated that investment in bird conservation can pay off – for example, we have recovered at-risk species like waterfowl and the Peregrine Falcons by focused resources and efforts. However, North American populations continue to show widespread declines. In the west, forest-dependent and wetland birds are both showing a more recent decline that is of grave concern.
Each year, Klamath Bird Observatory offers a Conservation Stamp Set for purchase with proceeds supporting both national and regional conservation efforts. The 2022-2023 Conservation Science Stamp tells the story of the Balck-throated Gray Warbler (Setophaga nigrescens), a migratory bird that breeds in Pacific Northwest oak-conifer habitats and winters in oak-pine and cloud forest habitats in western Mexico and Central America. Proceeds from this year’s Science Stamp support our international bird banding program. By purchasing this year’s Conservation Science Stamp you are supporting international bird conservation partnerships, monitoring, and education. Purchase yours today!
Join Klamath Bird Observatory and Vesper Meadow Education Program for the premiere of the short film “From the Field – A Study of the Oregon Vesper Sparrow” by Dan Thiede. We will hear from Program Director Jeanine Moy about the restoration work and connection to the community being done at Vesper Meadow. Then Dr. Sarah Rockwell will give a brief talk about the research KBO is conducting on the Oregon Vesper Sparrow, followed by a short walk in Vesper Meadow to a Motus node. The afternoon will conclude with a showing of the film, with time afterward for discussion and questions. Come learn about this little brown bird and experience one of the beautiful places it calls home! Registration is required.
Fall migration is in full swing. Come see it in person and up close at KBO’s banding station in Crater Lake. You will get to meet our amazing and knowledgeable banding crew, learn about the science behind banding, and of course, see birds up close. There isn’t a better way to close out the summer. The banding station is welcoming visitors every Tuesday through September.
We are excited to announce that the Klamath Siskiyou Oak Network (KSON) has received funding from the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board (OWEB)’s Focused Investment Partnerships grant program for the Little Butte Oak Initiative. KSON partners plan to restore 2,480 acres of oak habitat within the Little Butte Creek Watershed and Table Rocks using ecological thinning, prescribed fire, noxious weed abatement, and native understory planting.
In partnership with the National Park Service KBO is hosting visitors at our Crater Lake bird banding station on Tuesday mornings, the next tour is July 12th at 7:30 am and 9:15 am. This is an amazing opportunity for the whole family to see migratory songbirds up close and learn about our long-term bird banding program. For five years visitors have observed the banding process from which Crater Lake National Park and KBO gain valuable information about the presence and diversity of songbird species, timing of migration, and productivity of local breeding birds.