Attention Rogue Valley Birders! I am pleased to announce a community science opportunity in Oregon. Klamath Bird Observatory is partnering with Intermountain Bird Observatory to carry out Western Asio Flammeus Landscape Study (WAfLS). This citizen science project, now spanning eight western states, is designed to gather information to better evaluate the population status of the Short-eared Owl. Traditional survey data has indicated that Short-eared Owl populations have declined by more than 60% in the last 40 years. The Oregon Conservation Strategy has identified the Short- eared Owl as a Species of Greatest Conservation Need and the National Audubon Society Climate Initiative has identified the species as Climate Endangered. This survey is a critical step to filling information gaps for this species in Oregon. Results will directly influence high-value conservation actions by state and federal agencies. We are looking to recruit a set of dedicated volunteers to help complete this state-wide survey.

See past survey results here.

Volunteers will enjoy rural Oregon at twilight while completing two road-based surveys during late winter and early spring. The surveys consist of driving on secondary roads, stopping at 8 to 11 points to complete a five-minute survey. At each point volunteers will record detections of Short-eared Owl as well as some brief habitat information. The entire survey is completed within 90 minutes. Training material will be provided and no experience is necessary to volunteer. Participants will need to follow field and data entry protocols, have use of a vehicle, smartphone or GPS device, and be able to identify a Short-eared Owl. 

The last several years of birding with RVAS members have given me confidence that there are many capable and concerned birders in the Rogue Valley that are perfect candidates to participate in this important project.

Help fill these information gaps by signing-up for a survey!

Photo © Jim Livaudias

A map of available survey locations can be viewed here.  Available squares are in pink

For any questions please contact Nate Trimble at

For more information visit the program website and check out our Facebook page.

Happy Birding,
Nate Trimble
WAfLS Oregon State Coordinator and RVAS board member