Tucson Bird Count
2013 Spring Count: April 15 - May 15!!



TBC Participation Overview

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.

The 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 questions.

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.

The 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.

The TBC wants your feedback! Email Jennie MacFarland at jmacfarland@tucsonaudubon.org

We are currently updating this website! Check back for exciting changes soon!