Colonial Waterbird Research
Since 1982, our biologists and citizen science volunteers have monitored local populations of herons, egrets, terns, and other colony nesting waterbirds during the breeding season at more than 70 sites throughout the Bay Area. We record data on the timing of nesting (which can help answer questions about the impact of climate change on birds); evidence of predation and human disturbance; and information on colony sizes, including the number of nests, adults, and chicks.
We share our longterm data set with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bay Area land managers, and organizations such as the Audubon Society to help the public make resource management decisions that protect birds. We also share it with universities and other groups that are doing region-wide research projects to help them understand localized bird population trends.
Highlights from our 2019 season can be viewed on our Colonial Waterbird Volunteer Website.