Shollenberger Bird Surveys

In September 2004, PWA began a weekly bird survey of birds seen from the Shollenberger Park trail.  The goal was to establish which species were present, in what numbers, and in which seasons.  As long as the observation took place from the trail system, every bird seen was recorded, whether in the park, flying overhead, or even outside the park.  Since the beginning of the annual surveys, the data collected have been sent to PRBO Conservation Science.  Beginning with the second annual monthly survey, the data were also posted on the California eBird Web site at www.ebird.org/California (a real-time online bird observation checklist developed by a partnering of Audubon California, PRBO Conservation Science, and Cornell Lab of Ornithology).

Group of Bird Watchers Data will be used to help evaluate the quality of the habitat at Shollenberger Park, as well as provide information on the stability of our migratory bird populations.

Team bird survey leaders are Peter Colasanti, Lisa Hug, Andy LaCasse, Peter Leveque, Richard Merriss, Ruth Rudesill, Robert Speckels, Ron Storey, and Ken Wilson. Len Nelson coordinated the effort and compiled the statistics thru December 2009, and an Excel document of these observations can be obtained by emailing Len at lennelsn@comcast.net . Surveys beginning January 2010 were coordinated and compiled by Mary Edith Moore and the Excel document can be obtained by emailing her at maryedithmoore@comcast.net .

Results of the first year weekly survey, ending 17 September 2005
142 species were identified, including the rare species Clapper Rail and Black Rail, in over 115,000 observed birds. Team leaders were P. Colasanti, L. Hug, A. LaCasse, P. Leveque, and R. Merriss.  Colasanti commented on the marvelous diversity.  “…over 140 species in an urban park with no appreciable forest, mostly just marsh and meager grass.  I have county lists for four or more counties in Massachusetts, some of which I’ve birded over the years, and my Shollenberger list is higher than any of them.”

Results of the second year monthly survey, ending 22 September 2006
NOTE: Because the team leaders enjoyed leading the bird surveys and wanted to continue them, but not as often, the surveys were changed from weekly to monthly. 128 species were identified, including several species newly recorded at Shollenberger, in a total count of 28,243 birds. Team leaders were P. Colasanti, L. Hug, A. LaCasse, P. Leveque, and R. Merriss.

Results of the third year monthly survey, ending 15 September 2007
125 species were identified in a total count of 27,333 birds.  These results are very similar to those reported in the second year survey. Team leaders were P. Colasanti, L. Hug, A. LaCasse, P. Leveque, and R. Merriss.

Results of the fourth year monthly survey, ending 12 September 2008
135 species were identified in a total count of 21,720. Team leaders were P. Colasanti, L. Hug, A. LaCasse, P. Leveque, and R. Merriss.

Results of the fifth year monthly survey, ending 13 September 2009
130 species were identified in a total count of 34,469.  Team leaders were P. Colasanti, A. LaCasse, P. Leveque, R. Merris, R. Rudesill, R. Speckles, R. Storey, and K. Wilson.

Results of the sixth year survey, ending 4 September 2010
NOTE: the surveys were conducted monthly for the first three months (Oct thru Dec), and then conducted quarterly. 117 species were identified in a total count of 24,904. Team leaders were A. LaCasse, P. Leveque, R. Storey, and K. Wilson.

Results of the seventh year survey, ending 1 September 2011
The bimonthly surveys identified 109 species in a total count of 24,344. Team leaders were G. Hunn, A. LaCasse, P. Leveque, and R. Rudesill.

Results of the eighth year survey, ending 1 September 2012
The bimonthly surveys identified 101 species in a total count of 13,452.  Team leaders were A. LaCasse and R. Storey.

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