Volunteer citizen-scientists are needed to conduct field observations of burrowing owl breeding pairs from May 15 to July 15 as part of a Yolo County census organized by the Burrowing Owl Preservation Society.
The Institute for Bird Populations is providing the scientific aspects of the census. The institute has completed the study design and selected 50 Yolo County blocks to be surveyed. Volunteers will survey mapped 5km-by-5km blocks, record detected owls and their location and report their data.
Volunteers choose which block they would like to survey and choose any days between May 15 and July 15 to survey their block. Hours of observation are fixed from dawn to 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. to dusk.
Sixty-two pairs of burrowing owls were detected in Yolo County during the institute’s 2006-07 statewide census. Find the entire report at http://birdpop.net/pubs/birdpopv10.php. Or click on the “population 2007” tab at burrowingowlpreservation.org.
A survey protocol training is planned from 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Stephens Branch Library, 315 E. 14th St., but volunteers are not required to attend. Volunteers can choose a block at the training or select from an electronic locator map. To volunteer, contact Sandra.Menzel@sjsu.edu, the field volunteers coordinator.
“This is a huge undertaking!” says Catherine Portman of the Burrowing Owl Preservation Society.
For more information, call her at 530-666-0882 or 530-867-5736. Donations are appreciated as well; send a check payable to BOPS to 14841 County Road 91B, Woodland, CA 95695.