The Bear Creek Community Bird Survey (BCCBS) has been an ongoing community science project for the past two years, 2021-2022. This survey aims to measure riparian bird abundance along Bear Creek between Ashland and Central Point, OR. These surveys are completed year-round, but data collected during the breeding season are KBO’s current focus of analysis. 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.
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.
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.
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.
The newly released conservation plan, Population and Habitat Objectives for Landbirds in Prairies, Oak, and Riparian Habitats of Western Oregon and Washington (Rockwell et al 2022), provides quantitative and multi-scaled population and habitat objectives for 26 focal and seven imperiled bird species. As the title suggests, the plan focuses on prairie, oak, and riparian habitats in the Puget Lowlands, Willamette Valley, and Klamath Mountains ecoregions of western Oregon and Washington. This document was prepared for the Oregon-Washington Chapter of Partners in Flight (PIF), Pacific Birds Habitat Joint Venture, Bureau of Land Management, and U.S. Forest Service.
The Klamath Siskiyou Oak Network (KSON) is holding its second quarterly meeting of 2022 on Thursday, April 28th from 9-10:30 am. This collaborative regional partnership works to conserve oak habitats on private and public lands in southern Oregon and northern California. Our speaker this month is Jena Volpe, a KSON steering committee member and Fire Ecologist with the Medford BLM.
Spring has sprung, and migratory birds are making their way back to the Klamath Siskiyou Bioregion. Klamath Bird Observatory (KBO) is preparing by dusting off field gear, mapping out survey sites, and hiring summer staff. Each staff member has their own favorite thing to look forward to this field season: starting a new project, expanding an active project, or wrapping up data collection. This issue highlights the work of Dr. Sarah Rockwell and her team.
At Klamath Bird Observatory, we frequently tell the story of birds knowing our forests better than we do. Using birds as indicators, we’ve applied our science across the diverse and beautiful Klamath-Siskiyou bioregion to understand the ecological change from a bird’s perspective and used that information to inform conservation planning and restoration design. But what exactly is a bird’s eye view of the forest?