Since 2006, the Audubon Maryland-DC Important Bird Areas (IBA) Program has utilized Bird Blitz surveys in its efforts to identify sites across the state that provide critical bird habitat and support significant populations of Maryland’s vulnerable bird species. These surveys are volunteer-based and involve counting and mapping at-risk bird species listed in the IBA Criteria. Bird Blitz targets breeding At-risk bird species because site-specific data for these birds are most lacking. Bird Blitz data are used to determine whether sites support significant state, continental, or global populations of At-risk bird species and therefore qualify as a new State IBA or elevate the status of a State IBA to Continental or Global sifnificance.
Bird Blitz is vital to the identification and status assessment of IBAs in Maryland. The Maryland-DC IBA network now includes 40 IBAs. Since 2006, nearly 100 volunteers acting as citizen-scientists have conducted Bird Blitz surveys resulting in the identification of 20 new IBAs, including the identification of 9 IBAs in 2010. Bird Blitz data from recent years is still being reviewed for several sites; however, there are still potential sites which need to be surveyed to complete the IBA network.
In 2011, Bird Blitz efforts will focus on 6 sites across Maryland and DC. Routes for Bird Blitz surveys are being developed in these target areas to ensure adequate coverage at each site. Target sites include:
Savage River State Forest, Garrett County
Redhouse Grasslands, Garrett County
MacIntosh Run Watershed, St. Mary's County
Eastern Shore Maryland
Tanyard Wetlands, Caroline and Talbot Counties
Elk Neck, Cecil County
Rock Creek Park
All 2011 Bird Blitz sites are in need of volunteers for survey routes. You can make a significant contribution toward protecting the birds you love and the habitats important to them by volunteering to conduct just one Bird Blitz survey. If you would like to be a part of Bird Blitz 2011, consider attending our Bird Blitz training in May (more information to come).
OR you can contact David Yeany II, IBA Program Coordinator at 410-558-2473 to receive information on Bird Blitz survey routes. This will ensure a coordinated survey effort and will enable adequate coverage of sites with no duplicated surveys.
A special thanks to Audubon MD-DC partner organizations for their generous support of the IBA Program and Bird Blitz 2011:
Maryland Ornithological Society
Maryland Department of Natural Resources
Visit Audubon's National IBA website for site-specific information about Maryland's Important Bird Areas as well as Important Bird Areas across the United States.
See links below for BIRD BLITZ MATERIALS:
Donate: Important Bird Areas Program