Beached Bird Training Available to South Coast

Photo of women recording beached bird data on the beach.
Conducting the beached bird survey. Photo courtesy of COASST.

Those of you at the southern end of the Oregon shore who would like to learn about the beached bird survey can gain an opportunity by traveling a bit further south.  A training will take place across the border on Sunday, Oct. 25, noon-5 p.m., at the Del Norte County Fairgrounds Board Room, 421 Hwy 101 North, in Crescent City.

There will be another opportunity, not so far south, when a similar workshop will be held in Port Orford on Jan. 24, 2016.  Specific details as to exact time and location are not yet available, but mark your 2016 calendar now.

CoastWatch serves as the Oregon partner for the Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team (COASST), based at the University of Washington, which directs the program in all the West Coast states.  The beached bird survey is one of seven citizen science projects that CoastWatch organizes.

COASST is a citizen science project dedicated to involving volunteers in the collection of high-quality data on the status of coastal beaches and trends of seabirds. The goal is to assist government agencies and other organizations in making informed management and conservation decisions, and promote proactive citizen involvement and action. COASST volunteers systematically count and identify bird carcasses that wash ashore along ocean beaches from northern California to Alaska.  Volunteers need no experience with birds, just a commitment to survey a specific beach each month.  Some CoastWatchers participate on their own adopted miles, but others join teams working together to survey a site elsewhere than their mile.

If you are interested in participating, or want to explore the possibility, join COASST staff for a full, five-hour training session. Hear about how COASST started, learn how to use the custom “Beached Birds” field guide, and try out your new skills with some actual specimens.  There is no charge to attend a training, but plan to provide a $20 refundable deposit if you would like to take home a COASST volunteer kit complete with a COASST Beached Birds field guide. Training activities take place indoors.

Email [email protected] or call (206) 221-6893 to RSVP (not required, but helpful for the COASST staff).  If you can’t attend this event but have an interest in the survey, you will find more information at www.coasst.org.  To learn more about how to get involved with the project by joining CoastWatchers in surveying an established site, contact Fawn Custer, CoastWatch volunteer coordinator, at (541) 270-0027, [email protected].

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