Cape Fear Audubon needs your help in putting more eyes on the skies.
North America’s bird populations have dramatically declined over the past half-century, according to several studies.
Cape Fear Audubon is seeking volunteers to record field observations for the North Carolina Bird Atlas, a statewide project that focuses on the distribution and numbers of species from the coast to the mountains.
The organization is hosting a special public event 7-8 p.m. March 14 at the Halyburton Park Event Center, 4099 S. 17th St., Wilmington, to discuss the decline in bird populations.
State Wildlife Resources Commission officials John Carpenter, a wildlife diversity biologist, and Elsa Chen, a biological technician, will discuss at the meeting how volunteers can help document sightings and plug that information into eBird, a smart-phone application.
“This is a crowd-sourcing approach, where volunteers sign up to survey specific geographical blocks,” Cape Fear Audubon Vice President Marae West said in a press release. “It’s a great opportunity for people to have fun observing birds, while contributing to a better understanding of what’s needed to protect them.”
Researchers have concluded that North America’s bird population has 3 billion fewer birds than it did in 1970, according to a 2019 report in Science. The decline is the equivalent to a loss of about one in four birds.
Bird atlases have been conducted in the United States since the 1970s, but the North Carolina Bird Atlas did not begin until 2021. Data for the atlas is collected every 5 years.
Volunteers may choose from several survey blocks in Cape Fear Audubon’s survey area.
Audubon is also hosting Atlas-focused field outings. More information about those outings are available at capefearaudubon.org