Information on available routes for the 2012
TBC can be found at:
The TBC is made up of two programs: the Route
Program and Park Monitoring.
TBC Route Program
TBC's Route Program is unlike other surveys.
Every year, TBC participants count individuals of all bird
species at hundreds of sites across the Tucson area.
Why Have a Route Program? The
success of bird populations at one site, say your yard, depends
on more than just your yard. It also depends on your neighbors'
yards, nearby parks and washes, the arrangement of your whole
section of town...you get the idea. Now look at it from the
flip side: one site, say a section of wash, may impact bird
communities a half mile or more away. But what effect will
each of these factors have over time, and how should they
be designed to better support native bird populations? The
TBC Route Program (and only such a program) gives us
the information needed to start answering these and other
What's Involved in the Route Program?
Route Program sites are arranged in a grid
of 1-km squares, one site to a square. A "Route"
is a sequence of 8-12 sites that a person, with a car, can
survey in one morning (~3 hours; see the
map). We encourage people to go out in groups of 2 or
3 if they like. However, it is important that only one person
do the counting of birds at each site, to maintain as close
to "constant effort" among sites as possible. At
each site, observers record all birds of any species seen
or heard in a 5-minute period. Less-common birds seen outside
this window, or in transit between sites, are recorded separately.
Observers will be given data forms, route maps, and more detailed
instructions before counts. Afterwards, observers can submit
their data on-line, and then see area-wide results, including
distribution maps for most species, on the web site. See the
Route Program Participation
Steps to get started.
TBC Park Monitoring Program
The Park Monitoring Program
provides more fine-scale information on some areas than the
Route Program, and monitors bird communities at these areas.
It's also a great way for less-experienced birders or larger
groups (e.g., school or youth groups), to get involved (though
large groups aren't required). Each group adopts an
area they're interested in (we'd be happy to find you one!)
and spends 4 mornings a year counting birds at their area.
At least one person from the group must be able to conduct
point counts at the area of interest and help others with
identification (if no one in your group meets the qualifications
in the Self-Screening, let us know...we
may be able to find someone to help!). For more information
and a map of Park sites, see the Park
Monitoring Program page.