Many North American shorebird species are thought to be in decline and the influence that changing wetland habitats (specifically in the San Francisco Bay) have on these populations is not well understood.
So in the winter of 2008, we participated in a comprehensive survey of the San Francisco estuary to replicate censuses conducted in the 1980s and 1990s as part of the Pacific Flyway Project. This survey provided data for assessment, management, and conservation of wintering shorebird populations. This survey was then used to establish an annual San Francisco Bay Shorebird Survey beginning in 2010.
The San Francisco Bay Shorebird Survey is a coordinated, multi-partner monitoring program to assess annual shorebird population changes. We surveys sites across the South San Francisco Bay and provide data to the broader Bay Area region. Data from the survey provides guidance to resource managers about which shorebird species are at greatest risk and which habitats they most rely upon. The survey also contributes to larger shorebird monitoring efforts in the Pacific Flyway Shorebird Survey and Migratory Shorebird Project.
The Shorebird Survey is funded by SFBBO members and donations from the community. Project Partners for this research include Point Blue Conservation Science, Audubon California, U.S. Geological Survey, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Visit our Science Reports section to see a list of science reports about this program.
Shorebird Volunteer Opportunities
Our Shorebird Survey happens during one day in November or December each year and is primarily conducted by citizen science volunteers who are each assigned a different location to spend the day. Volunteers need to possess good shorebird identification skills and have some experience collecting data. Visit our Volunteer section to learn how to volunteer for the survey.
Shorebird Education and Outreach
In addition to working with partners and leading citizen science efforts, our waterbird team offers a robust shorebird outreach program. Our biologists offer science talks as well as bird walks in the field to educate youth and the general the public about shorebirds. They also teach shorebird identification workshops and offer hands-on shorebird science activities at family science and other community events. Visit our Events section to learn about our shorebird education activities.