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February 2022

The Audubon Bird Research Email Newsletter provides you with monthly updates outlining the work we are doing as part of the scientific research initiative at the Audubon Society of Rhode Island. You will also receive emails when we are in need of volunteers for projects. Suggestions and questions regarding the newsletter can be sent to Dr. Charles Clarkson, Audubon Director of Avian Research, cclarkson@asri.org.

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Conservation in Action

As we bid farewell to January, we look ahead to the second phase of winter data collection here at Audubon. To date, all of our publicly accessible refuges have been surveyed in their entirety (very likely by many of you reading this newsletter). I cannot thank each and every one of you enough! Your time and effort has been essential to the success of the first phase of the project. Although you may think that you were doing nothing more than going out and birding, your volunteerism is telling Audubon, the state and New England that you care about the birds that call Rhode Island home during the non-breeding season. You care about them enough to make time in your schedule to collect data during the winter and you are ok with the fact that you will see very few birds in the woods during these cold and blustery months. You know that these data will be used to better understand what the birds that do persevere a New England winter alongside us require to overwinter successfully. Soon, as warm winds and longer days return, these same woods will be teeming with birds. And hopefully at that time, you will be willing once more to lace up your boots, grab your binoculars head back out to continue surveys. You see, until we know how our forests, wetlands and coastal habitats are used by birds throughout the year, we won’t know what steps we need to take to make a measurable impact in local and regional bird populations. It all starts with the baseline. It all starts with you.


Round Two!

On 1 February, we began the second phase of our data collection. During this stage, all refuges that were surveyed in January will receive a second, paired survey with the first. Those volunteers that have submitted data in January are now free to complete their second survey (provided your first was a minimum of seven days ago). This sampling scheme DOES NOT mean that if you didn’t participate in the first survey you are unable to contribute. Contact me if you would like to contribute data during this non-breeding season and I will happily pair you with one of our first-round survey crews. Anyone who wants to go out and bird for a cause can.

Contact CClarkson@asri.org to participate!


Look at what your effort accomplished

While data analysis won’t commence until all data are in on 1 March, a quick glance at our database shows us:

Effort and Detection:

Encounter Rate:

 You may click each image to enlarge.

Blog: Bird Research at Audubon

Recently, a number of dead shore- and seabirds have been found along the Rhode Island coast. The birds are currently being tested for the presence of HPAI and, although results have not been confirmed, the Audubon Society of Rhode Island is urging individuals to avoid contact with any dead birds they may encounter and to take proper precautions to avoid transmission risk. Dead and dying wild birds should be reported to the RI Department of Environmental Management, Division of Fish and Wildlife by calling 401-789-0281. Click to read more.

In this Issue: A Reminder of Why We Do What We Do; Research Updates; Next Chapters; Citizen Science projects. Click here to subscribe to the Audubon bird research email newsletter!

With growing evidence that neonicotinoid insecticides impact so much more than their intended targets, it is incumbent on us to spend time and energy scrutinizing their use in our state.


Learn More About Bird Research at Audubon