A real-time, online checklist program launched in 2002, eBird has revolutionized the way that the birding community reports and accesses information about birds. It provides rich data sources for basic information on bird abundance and distribution at a variety of spatial and temporal scales. A weekly eBird survey has been performed at Shay Park in Arcata, with the public invited to attend one session each month.
Data Collection and Field Trip, Photo by Sue Leskiw
The RRAS membership area boasts five Christmas Bird Counts (CBCs): Arcata (started in 1986), Centerville (1959), Del Norte (1964), Tall Trees (2011), and Willow Creek (1974). View a map of all CBC areas. The CBCs are a program of National Audubon Society that reached 113 years of data collection by citizen scientists with the 2013 count. Centerville and Arcata often rank in the top 20 counts in the United States with regard to number of species seen. Birders of all skill levels are invited to participate, including those wishing to stay at home and tally the birds that visit their feeders.
The RRAS membership area boasts five Important Bird Areas (IBAs): Humboldt Bay, Humboldt Lagoons, Cape Mendocino Grasslands, Trinidad Rocks, and Del Norte Coast. These areas have been designated to be of global importance for providing habitat for breeding, wintering, and migrating birds. The state of California has 145 IBAs covering over 10 million acres. For more information on how IBA areas are selected and specific information on our local ones, click here.
In 2005, RRAS published an “Atlas of the Breeding Birds of Humboldt County, California.”
This labor-intensive, data-collection and interpretation project, cosponsored by Six Rivers National Forest, found 181 species of birds that certainly or probably nest in the county. The 450-page book -- with 68 original illustrations by local artists -- represents 11 years of planning, field surveys (1995-99), data analysis, map preparation, discussion, thought, research, and writing. Information about how to purchase the Atlas is available on our Membership page.
In 2007, RRAS began sponsoring winter raptor surveys and backyard winter sparrow banding.
Raptor Survey: Volunteers spend several days a year touring areas near Ferndale and Loleta to count vultures, raptors, and shrikes. Data are submitted to the Hawk Migration Association of North America. View Raptor Survey Results from 2007-2013. To participate, e-mail Ken Burton.
Backyard Winter Sparrow Banding: Well over 1000 native sparrows have been color-banded in participants’ yards. This program is currently inactive.
"Birdiest City in Humboldt County”
In 2010, RRAS initiated a friendly competition for the title of “Birdiest City in Humboldt County.” Birders report their species sightings for Arcata, Blue Lake, Eureka, Ferndale, Fortuna, McKinleyville, Rio Dell, and Trinidad to Ken Burton. This is a twist on the America’s Birdiest City and Birdiest County competitions that have been held for many years, which occur over a 72-hour window in the spring. This event is currently inactive.