Seabird Monitoring Surveys

Photos by Dave Keeling

Morro Coast Audubon is looking for motivated volunteers to conduct seabird monitoring surveys along the South Central Coast beginning in April and ending in July. The data collected is part of a statewide effort to monitor seabirds that use the coastline for nesting and foraging and document human caused disturbance of seabirds. The data is ultimately used to shape conservation efforts and policy. While many seabird species spend the majority of their lives out at sea, seabirds such as cormorants, pelicans, and gulls roost on land and forage in waters close to shore throughout the entire year.

Human activities along the coast can disturb seabirds while they are roosting and nesting, negatively impacting their ability to successfully care for their young. As part of this survey effort volunteers will document human activities that alter seabird behavior. This information will then be used to develop targeted outreach efforts to educate coastal users on how to adjust their activities to limit disturbances to roosting and nesting seabirds.

This is a great opportunity to gain experience in bird identification, behavior, and monitoring. All work is conducted from the shoreline and no previous experience is necessary. We will train you in species identification, survey protocol, and provide spotting scopes. Each volunteer will be responsible for completing one survey a month, which takes between 3-4 hours, at the locations of their choice. Surveys locations are Estero Bluffs, Montaña de Oro and Shell Beach. Surveys at Montaña de Oro and Estero Bluffs require surveyors to hike with a spotting scope.

The 2020 citizen-scientist effort will be the nineteenth consecutive year Morro Coast Audubon has collaborated with State Parks, Bureau of Land Management, and Point Blue Conservation Science.

We hope you can join our project!

For additional information please read this FLYER

To learn more, please attend our Virtual Introductory Meeting on Sunday, March 20, 2021 from 11:00 am – 12:00 pm on Zoom.

Field trainings will be held at each of the three survey locations. Dates and times will be provided at the Introductory Meeting.