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Lots of Current Events! Please check out our Current Events page to see them all.
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Bird Phenology Surveys

Phenology is the study of cyclic and seasonal life events in biological organisms (such as hibernation, migration, breeding).

As part of our avian phenology surveys, we will walk the same path through the Cache Creek Nature Preserve on a twice-a-month schedule, recording all bird species, their behaviors and their habitat utilization.

With consistent monitoring, we will be able to track phenological changes and the bird populations that are present at the preserve throughout the year. Scroll down for more background information.

Background Information

The Conservancy started doing Bird Phrenology Surveys in the Fall of 2022, right after the big burn event. Back then, most of the surveying was concentrated in the oak savanna and grasslands. We surveyed by plot, where each plot experienced a different treatment (burned, grazed, both burned and grazed, or control). The intention was to continue surveying like this to see if the birds responded differently to the different treatments over time.

As a nature preserve, it is more important for us to manage and improve habitat quality than to maintain experimental plots for the pure sake of research. So, we have redesigned the surveys to focus on a broader view of bird populations and habitat utilization on the preserve. Over time, we can get more accurate data about phenological events (e.g. when migratory birds return/leave the preserve, when breeding begins) and whether habitats are promoting appropriate avian diversity. With climate change, these are especially important to monitor.

As of now, our plan is to analyze the data on an annual basis. We’ll be able to write up a report and plan to post it on our website. With more years of surveying, we will be able to build up more robust data and perhaps see some long-term trends.

Looking for Volunteers

We currently have a group of five to eight experienced/enthusiastic birders who are able to commit to volunteering on a semi-regular basis.

If you are interested in volunteering, fill in the form below and we will put you on our waiting list. You do not need to be an expert birder, but should at least be familiar with the birds in the area and/or have a willingness to learn.

Surveys are conducted on the first and third Monday of the month, from 8:30 AM to about 12 PM. The first survey was scheduled for September 18th. Surveys may need to be rescheduled around holidays or if there is bad weather.

You’ll need to bring your own

  • binoculars,
  • water bottle,
  • appropriate weather clothing,
  • walking/hiking shoes,
  • sunscreen,
  • bug spray
  • Waiver and Volunteer Application (Download PDF)

We meet in the parking lot on the mornings of the surveys.

You should see a form in the green box below. If you don’t, please feel free to Contact Us directly.