Some 50% of the world’s shorebird species are in decline, and vital habitat is being lost at a higher rate than ever. Healthy populations of shorebirds depend on healthy habitats. Destruction of habitats, the killing of migrating shorebirds, global climate issues, public ignorance, and many more factors are resulting in downward trends of most shorebird populations.
The Global Shorebird Counts, held every year around Sept. 6, are key events held in celebration of World Shorebirds Day. The counts demonstrate the importance of field work, support observers by improving counting skills, contribute to an increase in the number of birdwatchers and scientists monitoring shorebirds worldwide, and fledge citizen scientists who contribute to the world’s largest bird database program.
Why count shorebirds?
Regular counts carried out by thousands of volunteers and professionals worldwide can reveal distribution, population trends, or abundance for any species. Bird monitoring is a key tool to determine whether a population is declining or increasing and/or needs coordinated conservation efforts.
This year, the week dedicated for counting shorebirds is Sept. 1-7. The dates may be great for birdwatchers in the southern part of the Northern Hemisphere but too early for counting migrants in the Southern Hemisphere. It’s impossible to set a date suitable for everyone. However, this program is not focusing solely on migrant shorebird species.
How can you take part?
Have an eBird account. The Global Shorebird Counts rely on eBird, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s advanced platform for data recording in the field. It’s the only way to share counting results of the Global Shorebird Counts. Download the eBird mobile app and add worldshorebirdsday to your contacts. Then count shorebirds at as many different locations as you can during that week. See below for locations of shorebird-viewing locations in Wisconsin.