Skip to main content

Tag: point count

2024 Point Count Technician

Job Description

Klamath Bird Observatory is seeking seasonal field technicians for the 2024 breeding season to complete avian point count surveys from April 29th through July 19th throughout the ecologically diverse and beautiful regions of southern Oregon, eastern Oregon, and/or northern California. Technicians will conduct work related to multiple projects, including monitoring the effects of oak and conifer forest restoration on species distributions and long-term monitoring on both private and public lands. Surveyors will work in northeastern Oregon conifer forests, eastern Oregon sagebrush habitat, Lassen Volcanic National Park, and/or Whiskeytown National Recreation Area. Applicants should be able to identify a wide variety of western bird species as they may be working in a range of habitats, including coniferous forests, mixed chaparral and oak woodlands, and shrub-steppe. Primary responsibilities will include conducting multispecies avian point count surveys and vegetation sampling along off-road transects following standard protocols, and associated data entry. Other tasks may be assigned if time permits. Field training on protocol methodology and distance estimation will be provided at the onset of the season. Camping independently, often at undeveloped or dispersed sites, will be required for most work. A small number of sites may also require overnight backcountry camping. Experience and comfort with backpacking to sites will be discussed and agreed upon prior to the field season and is not required for every position. Several field vehicles are available for use, but surveyors may need to use a personal vehicle to travel to work sites. If technicians are required to drive their personal vehicle, mileage reimbursement will be provided.


Well-qualified applicants should have at least one full season of avian point count field experience. Applicants should have a full range of hearing, be in excellent physical condition, and be comfortable working and camping independently. Required qualifications include the ability to identify western birds by sight and sound, hike in steep and rugged off-trail conditions, follow standardized field protocols, collect and record meticulous data, communicate with coworkers effectively, work independently in remote forested areas, work in inclement weather conditions, and tolerate working in areas containing poison oak. Surveyors must possess good map reading, GPS, and orienteering skills and be eager to work long days in the field. Applicants must have a valid driver’s license, a clean driving record, and insurance.


$1528/bi-weekly, plus reimbursement for mileage at the federal rate if required to drive a personal vehicle. An additional completion bonus of $1000 will be provided at the end of the field season.

To Apply

Send a cover letter (including dates of availability and vehicle type), resume, and contact information for three references in a single PDF document to Tom McLaren (
Hiring will be ongoing until all positions have been filled. It is Klamath Bird Observatory’s policy to provide a work environment free from unlawful discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, marital status, age, expunged juvenile record, performance of duty in a uniformed service, physical or mental disability, or any other characteristic protected by local law, regulation, or ordinance. Additional employment opportunities and information about Klamath Bird Observatory can be found at:

Photo Barn Swallow by Frank Lospalluto. 

End of Point Count Season Update

By Tom McLaren, Biologist Point Count Program

Each spring, KBO conducts a large-scale point count surveying effort to collect data on abundance, habitat use, and bird communities. Many species can only be surveyed during their breeding season when they establish territories and are easily detected by their unique songs. To take advantage of this, our point count surveys take place within a narrow window during the spring breeding season. With the help of a fantastic team of seasonal point count technicians, KBO completed another successful season of surveys this year.

This spring, our surveyors conducted a total of 2101 point counts over 214 survey days. Much of this work was related to long-term monitoring of avian populations and ecological restoration projects. These projects align with KBO’s goals to understand changes to bird communities and to provide conservation relevant science to resource managers.

Meadow Lark by Frank Lospalluto

Our long-term monitoring projects include partnerships with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the National Park Service (NPS). Our partnership with the BLM includes ongoing surveys within the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument in southern Oregon and large-scale monitoring of bird populations in eastern Oregon as a part of the Integrated Monitoring in Bird Conservation Regions (IMBCR) program. With over 1,000 detections, Western Meadowlarks continue to be one of our most frequently observed species on our IMBCR surveys. Other notable species include Horned Lark, Sagebrush Sparrow, and Gray Flycatcher, each of which was detected several hundred times on our surveys.

Pinyon Jay by Eric Gropp

In partnership with the NPS, we also completed our 15th year of point count surveys in national parks of the Klamath-Siskiyou region. Our surveyors visited the Lava Beds National Monument and Redwoods National and State Parks in northern California. At Redwoods National and State Parks, our most commonly detected species were the Pacific-slope Flycatcher (Western Flycatcher) and the Pacific Wren. Notably, in Lava Beds National Monument, our surveyors had several Pinyon Jay detections. These birds, which are under federal review for listing under the Endangered Species Act, are known for foraging on the seeds of the eponymous pinyon pine and are currently suffering a dramatic population decline. The Pinyon jay’s decline is thought to be the result of a loss of suitable pinyon-juniper habitat.

Veery by Frank Lospalluto

This year, our restoration surveying work took our technicians across Oregon and into Northern California. One of our largest restoration projects in the Northern Blues Mountains included surveys across the Umatilla and Wallowa-Whitman National Forests of Northeastern Oregon in partnership with the United States Forest Service (USFS). Our surveyors also visited regions of Northern California, southern Oregon, and Portland to survey oak, riparian, and aspen restoration sites. Notably, this year marked the initiation of an oak restoration monitoring project as part of an ongoing partnership with the Upper Rogue Oak Initiative. This partnership is focused on restoring and maintaining healthy oak woodlands within the region. With more than 500 detections each, Western Tanagers, Yellow-rumped Warblers, and American Robins were the most frequently seen species on our restoration projects. Our surveyors also had several exciting encounters with more uncommon species, including the American Three-toed Woodpecker, Northern Goshawk (American Goshawk), and Veery.

We’d like to give a big shout-out to our fantastic team of point count surveyors this year. They worked tirelessly to collect high-quality data about our bird communities while navigating life in the field. Our science team is happy to have another successful point count season on the books, and we are looking forward to learning more from the data we have collected.

Point Count Technician Positions Availble!

Lassen National Park Survey Site (c) Frank Lospalluto


Klamath Bird Observatory is looking to fill three, point count technician positions for this summer’s field season. You will have an amazing opportunity to camp and backpack through the beautiful Klamath Siskiyou bioregion. Some of the places visited include Lassen Volcanic National Park, Oregon Caves National Monument, Whiskeytown National Recreation Area, and/or Crater Lake National Park.

We are looking for technicians to start May 2nd with the potential to start in June ending July 15th. Pay is $3000/month, plus reimbursement for mileage if required to drive a personal vehicle.

Technicians must be willing and able to adhere to strict health and safety guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic throughout the duration of hire. Effective June 21, 2021, and until further notice, KBO will require that all employees and Student Interns be fully vaccinated for COVID‐19, and be able to provide proof of vaccination status.

Click here for the full job description.