[Tweeters] U.S. Nightjar Survey needs participants

Mike Wilson mdwils at wm.edu
Thu Mar 26 07:22:04 PDT 2009

The U.S. Nightjar Survey Network is continuing into its third year as a
vital program to gather data on the population distribution and population
trends on this group of declining species. We would like to invite all
birders and conservationists to participate in the program by adopting
Nightjar Survey Routes in 2009 and beyond.

Nightjars are the group of nocturnal, insectivorous birds that includes
species such as the whip-poor-will, common poorwill, chuck-will's-widow, and
the nighthawks among others. The U.S. Nightjar Survey Network was
introduced in the southeast in 2007 and then expanded in 2008 to gain full
coverage across the conterminous United States. We are grateful to the
number of participants already involved in the program. The beginning years
of data collection has already helped in explaining how the composition of
habitats in local landcapes influences nightjar abundance. In turn, these
data will one day help to explain population declines. However, there is
still need for more routes to be surveyed, greater geographic and species
coverage, and longer-term count data.

Nightjar Surveys are standardized counts conducted along census routes at
night. Observers count all Nightjars seen or heard for a six-minute period
at each of 10 stops along the route. The entire survey will not take much
more than one hour to complete and only needs conducted one time per year.
We have produced a series of routes in each state with many that are still
in need of adoption by survey participants.

Please consider adopting a Nightjar Survey Route in your area. The
continuing success of Nightjar Survey Network relies entirely on volunteer

Visit http://www.ccb-wm.org/nightjars.org for more details on route
locations, methods of survey, and more.

Mike Wilson
Center for Conservation Biology
College of William & Mary / Virginia Commonwealth University
PO Box 8795
Williamsburg, VA 23187-8795
phone: 757-221-1649
fax: 757-221-1650
email:mdwils at wm.edu

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