Bird Monitoring

Bear Creek Breeding Bird Atlas

The purpose of the Bear Creek Watershed Breeding Bird Atlas (hereafter Bear Creek Atlas) is to provide information on the distribution, abundance, breeding status and habitat use of birds on public lands within the Bear Creek Watershed.

Click on map to view larger PDF version

Click on map to view larger PDF version.

Information from these surveys will be provided to the appropriate federal, state, county, and local agencies to help them manage these public lands. Data collected in this project will also help inform conservation decisions considered by Evergreen Audubon and will be used for educational purposes in the Evergreen Nature Center.

Based on Evergreen Audubon’s membership and area of interest, we have designated the Bear Creek Watershed as an appropriate area to survey breeding birds over the next five years (2008-2012). After the initial five-year survey period, sites will be surveyed every five years. These repeated surveys will provide some information on how bird populations are changing within the watershed.

In general, methods follow state breeding bird atlas projects, such as the Colorado Breeding Bird Atlas. Observers record the numbers and breeding evidence of birds they encounter during surveys within the breeding, which is approximately 1 May – 31 July.

See the Bear Creek Birding Atlas website for more information.

For information on this project, contact Chuck Aid.

Atlas Progress Reports (2008-2012)

Bluebird Nest Box Monitoring

Evergreen Audubon, in collaboration with Jefferson County Open Space, has established two bluebird nest box trails. Each approximately 4 miles in length, the Elk Meadow Open Space trail has 35 nest boxes, and the Alderfer/Three Sisters Open Space trail with 25 boxes.

Western Bluebird on twigEvergreen Audubon offers volunteers the opportunity to monitor bluebird nest boxes in these two parks. Volunteers are assigned to a team that make biweekly walking visits along the nest box trails. Visits take place throughout the summer and spring during which participants will observe and record adult arrival, nest building and the number of eggs and chicks. Other cavity-nesting species may also be observed.

The monitoring data collected contributes to the growing Evergreen Audubon database of bluebird breeding success in our area and is also entered into the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology NestWatch unified database. These data contribute to the monitoring and scientific understanding of North American breeding birds.

Systematic observation of Colorado’s migratory breeding birds provides us an opportunity to monitor variation in life cycle events, reproductive success, and changes in species distribution and abundance. Among the state’s migratory breeders are Mountain and Western Bluebirds.

In March and April, adult bluebirds return to our area from their lower elevation, more southerly winter range. Nest site selection, pair formation, breeding, egg laying and brooding then ensue. Mountain Bluebirds depend on open grassland habitat; Western Bluebirds prefer more park-like, open forest and forest edge. Both species display a somewhat monogamous mating system, nest in tree cavities, though readily accept nest boxes, and are insectivorous during the summer breeding season. These events and behaviors may be observed in the Ponderosa Pine-Douglas Fir woodland of our Front Range.

For information about this project, contact Chuck Aid.

Nest Box Monitoring Reports (2007-2016)

Christmas Bird Count

Male Pine Grosbeak, Photo by Marilyn Rhodes

Male Pine Grosbeak, Photo by Marilyn Rhodes

Each year, Evergreen Audubon members spend a December day counting all the birds they can find in the Evergreen-Idaho Springs area…

Sponsored by the National Audubon Society, the first Christmas Bird Count was held on December 25, 1900 in Central Park, New York City, and has been going strong since that time. Information collected on Christmas Bird Counts is used to track the status of birds throughout North America and the Western Hemisphere.

Christmas Bird Count Summaries (2007-2016)

Great Backyard Bird Count

The Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) is a free, fun, and easy event that engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of bird populations. Participants are asked to count birds for as little as 15 minutes (or as long as they wish) on one or more days of the four-day event and report their sightings online at Anyone can take part in the Great Backyard Bird Count, from beginning bird watchers to experts, and you can participate from your backyard, or anywhere in the world.

Each checklist submitted during the GBBC helps researchers at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society learn more about how birds are doing, and how to protect them and the environment we share. Last year, more than 140,000 participants submitted their bird observations online, creating the largest instantaneous snapshot of global bird populations ever recorded.