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If you can identify most of this region’s birds by sound, the Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) would be grateful for just a couple days of your time this year, between late May and early July. There are 2 routes within about an hour’s drive of Eugene which need a volunteer: Green (west of Roseburg) and Blue River (east of Springfield). Locations of these and other “Vacant Routes” can be viewed by zooming in to the Oregon map at

Or contact me for details.

Doing a BBS route is important because no volunteer-based national bird survey has provided more data crucial to bird conservation as has the BBS program, which has been going for over 50 years! And yet here in Oregon we’ve always had difficulty finding enough birders to cover all the specified routes.  

You don’t have to know ALL the bird songs — just those of species likely to be found along the route you select, and you can view that list online in advance.  Then, if you’re rusty on a few of them, you can go online before summer and set up quizzes for those species to practice identifying their songs until you’re comfortable with your ability to recognize them quickly.

Each BBS route has 50 stops spaced a half-mile apart, and most routes follow rural roads in driveable condition.  Starting before sunrise, you listen for 3 minutes at each stop and record on a data form what you hear or see before driving to the next stop. The whole route takes about 5 hours. If you’d rather not do this alone, consider bringing a friend or contact the coordinator (below). Your hearing should be normal and a commitment to doing the route for at least 2 years is preferred.  More complete instructions can be found here:

So please consider doing one or more of these routes and notify me of your choice(s) now or sometime before mid-May.  I’ll see that the national BBS office sends you the detailed route map and data forms.

Paul Adamus, Oregon BBS Coordinator