Photos by Dave Reynolds.
Report by Linda St-Cyr. Starting from the parking lot at the top of Peavine Creek Road and hiking up, 11 Pinyon Jay followers observed 122 Pinyon Jays (a life bird for at least 3 people!) over a 2-hour period on the morning of 10/5/22. The Pinyon Jays flew in a northerly direction in several groups from the houses below to the foothills above. It’s interesting that the area hosts Jeffrey and Ponderosa Pines, but no Pinyon Pines. The Pinyon Jays seem to be getting supplementary food around the houses (peanut shells were visible on the ground at the lower elevations) and they could be preparing to cache at the higher elevations although we did not actually see caching behavior. The Pinyon Jay survey volunteers practiced submitting data to Great Basin Bird Observatory via the Survey 123 app. An extra perk was the Golden Eagle who often appears near the peaks when we’re in this area. See the eBird trip report for the full species list.
What is the Intermountain West Shorebird Survey?
Shorebirds represent a unique aspect of biodiversity that links isolated sites, often hundreds or thousands of miles apart, and thus, shorebirds are excellent indicators of environmental health across large and small landscapes.
Inland sites in the Intermountain West are oases for our migratory shorebirds. Our collective efforts will document changes to freshwater wetlands and saline lakes over the past 30 years by recreating the last comprehensive shorebird survey of the region in 1989-1995. By combining the efforts of professional and volunteer scientists, we will collect critical information to help sustain shorebird populations into the future, which is the purpose of the Intermountain West Shorebird Survey.
The project objectives are:
We need help collecting baseline site information (access points, observation locations, and potential hazards), designing routes and surveying sites. We will be providing more details on what information we need and how to collect it during our upcoming webinar sessions. Please fill out the online form below if you are interested in visiting a familiar or new shorebird site to help design surveys and count shorebirds during our migration windows (August 9th – 22nd and April 24th – 30th), any effort helps shorebirds count! Mileage reimbursement is available on a case-by-case basis.
Save the dates!
Ready to get involved?
Just a few of the many birds our community observed. Photos by Tim Ng and Kentia Kalanki.
Pinyon Jay Surveys
Did you know that Pinyon Jay populations have declined 80% since the 1960s? Here is your opportunity to help scientists understand why this species is in decline and how we can help to conserve them. Lahontan Audubon Society is partnering with the Great Basin Bird Observatory (GBBO) to recruit community scientists to conduct Pinyon Jay surveys. No experience is necessary and birders of all levels are welcome. This is a great opportunity to learn about a local species and support conservation efforts. Surveys require a smartphone app or a handheld GPS.
Each month we will host a field trip where new volunteers will meet our experienced surveyors to learn the survey protocol and share their experiences. Send us an email to RSVP. Click below to fill out our volunteer form or watch our Pinyon Jay presentation on our YouTube Channel.
Great Backyard Bird Count 2022
Just some of the many backyard birds you can find around Reno, courtesy of our photo contest.
Christmas Bird Count 2021
" 'Tis the season" for the 2021 Christmas Bird Count. Our chapter does not run the Christmas Bird Counts ourselves, they are run independently by Bird Count Compilers. However, we happily promote the upcoming counts happening in the Northern Nevada and Tahoe region. Counts are listed below, and also listed on our website calendar. If you would like to participate in a count, please contact the count leader first. Check back in to this list regularly, as we will be adding more information about CBC counts as we hear from more leaders.
Contact Dave McNinch (775) 747-7545; Email David
Snake Valley (Baker, NV)
Contact Gretchen Baker (435)406-1041; Email Gretchen
South Lake Tahoe
Contact Will Richardson, (775)298-0065; Email Will.
Click here to register for the count
Contact Lois Ports, through Bristlecone Audubon; Email Lois
Truckee Meadows (Reno/Sparks)
Contact Dave McNinch (775) 747-7545; Email David
Contact Roy Morris (775) 623-1562; Email Roy
January 1st, 2022
Contact Dennis Serdehely (775)771-1575; Email Dennis
This count has been closed to the public due to pandemic safety concerns.
This CBC was cancelled for the 2021 year.
As always, click below to see our calendar with a complete day-by-day list of all our events.
To see a Audubon's complete map of Christmas Bird Counts happening around the country, click below:
The Christmas Bird Count has been a long-standing tradition, starting up circa when the Audubon Society was founded. But did you know it began with a tradition of taking hunting trips at Christmas? Check out this Audubon article below, to read about the origins of the Christmas Bird Count, how data from the Christmas Bird Count is used in contemporary research, and much more.
To see the summary from last year's Bird Count, click below:
Birding By Bus Nov 2021 Challenge
We are excited to announce a new bird watching activity challenge hosted by eBird. Birdwatchers who submit 3 separate eBird checklists in a single day will be entered into a raffle to win a pair of Ziess 8x42 binoculars. These checklists can be from the same location at 3 different times or multiple locations throughout the day. The contest is open throughout the month of November. Click the button below to learn about the eBird November Challenge.
"How do I find locations to bird for this challenge?" you ask. This is where our Birding By Bus map is here to help you. Our Birding by Bus map contains a full list of parks and nature areas within the Reno/Sparks metro area. The Cormorant photo above was taken at Virginia Lake, one of the parks featured in our map. Our map contains additional information about each park, such as what birds are currently seen there or which RTC ride bus stop serves it. Our map uses the Google Maps engine, and therefore can give you directions to the parks through your smartphone. The link to our Birding to Bus map is below. If you would like to learn more about the local public transit service, visit rtcwashoe.com.
"I would love to participate, but I do not have an eBird account," you say. Have no fear. We also have an eBird tutorial webinar available. Our Community Engagement Coordinator, Parker Flickinger, and ornithologist Ben Sonnenberg hosted this webinar last month. Parker and Ben are both eBird enthusiasts and covered the basics of how to register for then use eBird to keep track of the birds you observe in your lifetime. This webinar was recorded and available always on our YouTube Channel (linked below).
As always, if you have any other questions about birdwatching in our community, Birding By Bus or using eBird, don't hesitate to contact us. We would love to hear from you.
Good luck on your birdwatching adventure!
*Although we encourage birdwatching, Lahontan Audubon Society is not in charge of purchasing the Ziess binoculars and running the raffle. This is completely managed by eBird and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. For more information about how the contest works, visit the website tab above.
October Big Day 2021 Local Events!
We are excited to announce the return of October Big Day, on Saturday, October 9th. Big Day is an unofficial "holiday" (similar to Earth Day) encouraging birding around the world. Birding statistics are collected and published by eBird and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology on their websites. Some people try to hit as many birding hotspots as they can in a day (as our staff member Parker Flickinger did last year), while other people just enjoy the simple pleasure of watching the birds in their neighborhood. Click the photo above to learn more about October Big Day, or click the button below to see the Big Day statistics collected in real time!
In honor of this holiday, we are hosting our own local October Big Day celebration, including several walks on Big Day, and 2 instructional webinars on some tools to improve your birding abilities. As always, these events are free and open to everyone, you just have to register through our website. The details for our current October Big Day events are listed below and more bird walks are being added every day, so check back in with our website calendar and social media pages.
We also encourage you to go out birding yourselves on Big Day. If you keep birding checklists on your walk, you can share them with our Lahontan Audubon eBird account. If you want to learn more about how to maintain birding lists on eBird, check out our eBird webinar on October 7th (details below). If you do not want an eBird account, but want to contribute to Big Day, you can email us your bird checklist via our Contact Us tab, and we will add it to our daily tally.
Last October Big Day, our community observed 50 species. Click below to see last year's Big Day records. Let's see if we can break our record this year!
October Big Day 2021 events
Click on an event's button to see more information and register.
Nevada Bird-a-thon 2021
Christmas Bird Counts 2020
Christmas Bird count 2019