Landbird: Inventory and Monitoring
Birds are among the most sensitive indicators of ecosystem health and counting them is one of the most efficient ways to take the ecological pulse of an area. In 2009, Washington's National Park Fund awarded a grant to North Cascades National Park to monitor and inventory landbirds. During the first two years of sampling 1,976 point counts were conducted; 18,550 individuals birds counted, and over 100 bird species documented. The six most commonly detected species include Pine Siskin, Dark-eyed Junco, Red Crossbill, Varied Thrush, Winter Wren, and Townsend's Warbler.
After two successful years of results, preliminary findings detect substantial annual fluctuations in bird populations. These fluctuations should yield interesting and useful findings about the drivers of population dynamics in birds of Pacific Northwest forests.
Funding from Washington's National Park Fund has been used to create a website to easily access a database of the information gathered from these landbird surveys. In cooperation with The Institute For Bird Populations (IBP), information about the birds of Mount Rainier, North Cascades and Olympic National Parks can be accessed by anyone.
Photo provided by Olympic National Park.