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Tag: Volunteers

Bear Creek Community Survey 2022 Update

Volunteers at Lynn Newbry (c) Emmalisa Whalley

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. This project was made possible by community scientists and by local partners Klamath Bird Observatory (KBO), Rogue River Watershed Council (RRWC), Rogue Valley Audubon Society, and Southern Oregon Land Conservancy.

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.

Yellow Warbler (c) James Livaudais

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.

Cover photo was taken by Frank Lospalluto. 

KBO Position Announcements

Klamath Bird Observatory has announced several new position openings. We are currently recruiting for field technicians for the upcoming 2018 field season, citizen scientist volunteers for a new Short-eared Owl survey project, and a meeting facilitator to work with the Klamath Siskiyou Oak Network. Links to the position announcements on KBO’s website are below—where you with find details about the positions and instructions on how to apply.

On behalf of the Klamath Siskiyou Oak Network, KBO is seeking bids for a meeting facilitator to support strategic planning efforts—CLICK HERE to view this position announcement.

KBO is seeking to fill two Field Technician positions in our bird monitoring and research program at several riparian restoration sites along the Trinity, Salmon, and possibly Klamath rivers in northern California—CLICK HERE to view this position announcement.

KBO invites applications for four (4) Bird Banding Assistant Internship position openings—CLICK HERE to view this position announcement.

KBO seeks to fill a Field Technician position with primary responsibilities to manage our bird banding long-term monitoring project—CLICK HERE to view this position announcement.

KBO is seeking volunteers for a Short-eared Owl citizen science monitoring project—CLICK HERE to view this position announcement.

KBO’s 2015 Bullock’s Rose Oriole Volunteer Award Goes to Sandy Jilton


June 1, 2015

Contact: Marcella Rose Sciotto,, 541-201-0866

Klamath Bird Observatory is proud to announce that Sandy Jilton is the first recipient of our new
Bullock’s Rose Oriole Volunteer Award.

Sandy Jilton receiving award from KBO's Marcella Sciotto

This award has been established to recognize individuals who demonstrate outstanding service as volunteers helping Klamath Bird Observatory fulfill its mission to advance bird and habitat conservation through science, education, and partnerships. Sandy Jilton is being recognized as the recipient of the Bullock’s Rose Oriole for her efforts to help make the Klamath Bird Observatory’s 2nd annual Mountain Bird Festival a success.

The Mountain Bird Festival is a community education event designed to foster the stewardship ethic needed to ensure thriving landscapes for humans and wildlife. This Festival represents a significant volunteer effort with nearly 50 community members chipping in over 1,200 volunteer hours to help put the event on. These volunteers help Klamath Bird Observatory staff with field trips, registration, vendors, planning, and much more.

Klamath Bird Observatory recognizes Sandy Jilton with the first Bullock’s Rose Oriole Volunteer Award

for her volunteer work that was essential to the success of this year’s Festival. Sandy worked tirelessly

to coordinate our food and drink vendors. She spent hours to find the right vendors who best

represented our region’s food and beverage culture. She then worked with them to ensure their

participation benefitted their businesses while also helping us to meet the conservation oriented goals

of the Festival. In addition to this core aspect of her volunteer role, Sandy was always eager to help out

in any way that she could. Her endless enthusiasm, good cheer, and skillful execution made her a

delight to work with.

Over the past two years bird enthusiasts from all over the U.S. have flocked to Ashland, Oregon for

Klamath Bird Observatory’s award winning Mountain Bird Festival. The Festival is designed to raise funds

for bird conservation while celebrating the role citizens play in conservation as well as the glory of the

birds and wildlife of southern Oregon and northern California. The Festival offers more than 35 field

trips that explore portions of the Cascade and Siskiyou Mountains, as well as the Klamath Basin, Shasta

Valley, the Klamath River, the Rogue watershed, and birding hotspots in and around Ashland and

Medford. Each year, more than 120 participants, many of which traveling from out of the area, come to

see some of southern Oregon’s unique bird species, and to contribute to bird conservation. In addition

to these contributions, participants spend an estimated $70,000 on lodging, meals, entertainment, and

more, demonstrating that birding means business and that the Mountain Bird Festival offers significant

economic benefits to our region.

By name, Klamath Bird Observatory’s new Bullock’s Rose Oriole Volunteer Award honors Stephanie

Bullock, the Festival’s 1st Volunteer Coordinator, and Marcella Rose Sciotto, the Mountain Bird Festival

Coordinator, who has made this Festival a successful volunteer-driven event.

Click here to read Talent’s News & Review profile and article on Sandy and her accomplishments.