Join the Openlands Lakeshore Preserve Bird Monitors

March 20, 2014

Openlands is looking for volunteer bird monitors to help with our migratory bird monitoring program at the Openlands Lakeshore Preserve. Since 2011, our bird monitors have worked closely with the Plants of Concern program at the Chicago Botanic Garden to identify avian species that are using the site during spring and fall migration seasons. In particular, we are looking for monitors for Schenck and Van Horne Ravines; we may also have an opening for a beach area monitor. An on-site orientation and written monitoring protocol will be provided to all new monitors.

Monitors must be able to commit to visiting the Preserve twice between April 1 and April 15, two to three times per week between April 15 and June 10, and two to three times per week between August 1 and October 28. Visits should occur anytime after sunrise and before 10:00 a.m. Monitors will visit up to seven established points within their assigned monitoring area each time, making visual and auditory observations for five minutes at each point. While expert birding skills are not required, monitors should have a general knowledge of regional bird species and be able to provide their own binoculars and guidebooks, if needed. We strongly encourage monitors to pair up with another volunteer so the work is not done alone. All data is entered into the Bird Conservation Network’s eBird online database, a fun and easy way to see the results of your work in the field.

Becoming a citizen scientist for the Preserve is a great way to experience the site’s unique natural communities up close, while collecting important data about the site’s rare ecosystems and our restoration efforts. For more information, please contact

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