Leading a local community in appreciating, understanding, and protecting birds and their natural habitats.


2018-2019 SURVEY - Table of Contents

1. Overview
2. Species Observation Counts
3. Species Trends
4. Map of Species Richness
5. Map of Indicator Species
6. Site-Specific Species Composition

About PSSS

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 Interested in volunteering? Learn more about the program here.


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During the 2018-19 season of the Puget Sound Seabird Survey, we successfully expanded the PSSS program to incorporate sites north of Deception Pass to the Canadian border, and established and tested a new Oil Spill Response Protocol. A total of 250 volunteers conducted 1,042 surveys from October 2018 through April 2019. Surveys took place at 154 locations within 11 counties surrounding the Southern Salish Sea - Clallam, Island, Jefferson, King, Kitsap, Pierce, Snohomish, Thurston, Skagit, San Juan, and Whatcom. These surveys represented over 500 hours of survey time made possible by our dedicated volunteers. Data were collected on 56 species of seabirds and waterfowl that utilize near-shore habitat. 

This year, we created interactive data visualizations using Tableau Public to summarize and enable the comparison of data collected in 2018-19 with past seasons' records. These figures allow you to explore certain aspects of the data such as: how this season may differ from previous seasons in terms of species richness and composition, how your site(s) compare with other sites within the study, trends in species records over the years, and the distribution of "indicator" species, or species that have been identified by the Puget Sound Partnership to indicate the health of Puget Sound.

DISCLAIMER: Please keep in mind that the following figures are visualizations of raw counts of birds observed during PSSS survey windows. Only minimal summary statistics have been applied to provide a visual representation of what was recorded. This means that we are only looking at a sample of the true population of seabirds within the Southern Salish Sea, and we therefore cannot draw conclusions about the state of seabird populations using these data visualizations. These figures are meant to allow you to explore and compare what we have observed and recorded in our PSSS program throughout the year. If you have any questions or would like to request PSSS data for your own analyses, please contact Seattle Audubon's Science Manager.


Total Bird Observations by Species

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Explore the bar chart below to see how many individuals of each seabird species were recorded across all PSSS sites.

  • View data for different survey seasons using the dropdown menu or the arrows on either side of the "Season" box, in the upper right corner.
  • Using the grey bar below the bar chart, scroll left and right to see the complete species list.
  • Hover over each species (blue) bar to see the total count, and where individuals were observed on a map. The dot sizes on the map represent the proportion of the total that was observed at each site; the bigger the dot, the more birds of that species were observed at that site. Missing dots indicate that species was not observed at those sites.

To learn more about each seabird species, visit Birdweb.


Species Trends in Observation

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Explore the scatterplot below to see the trend in observation records for each seabird species across all PSSS sites. Note: This is not suggesting population trends for these species! This plot is showing the number of observations for the species recorded within PSSS surveys at PSSS sites so will be influenced by whether (1) the birds are present at the site the same time volunteers are surveying, (2) the birds are seen, and (3) the birds are correctly identified and counted by the team. Note that the y-axis reports the "Number of birds/survey." This is reporting an average number of birds that we see across all sites for that survey month, allowing us to account for effort (i.e. number of sites surveyed for that month).

  • Select the species you would like to see in the dropdown menu in the upper right corner



Map of Species Richness 

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Curious to learn how the species list at your site(s) compares to others? Explore the map below to see how many unique seabird species were recorded at each PSSS site for the entire season. Red dots indicate more species and blue dots indicate fewer species relative to all other sites.

  • View data for different seasons using the slider or left and right arrows beneath the "Season" box in the upper right corner.
  • Zoom in or out using your mouse scroll wheel, or the + and - buttons on the top left corner of the map when you hover over it.
  • Click the house button at the top left corner when you hover over the map to revert back to the original map.


Map of Indicator Species

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The select seabird species below were identified in the Puget Sound Partnership Vital Signs program as key ecosystem indicators. This map shows where PSSS volunteers have recorded each species and how many were observed at each site.

  • View data for different seasons using the slider or left and right arrows beneath the "Season" box in the upper right corner.
  • Zoom in or out using your mouse scroll wheel, or the + and - buttons on the top left corner of the map when you hover over it.
  • Hover over each bubble to learn the site name, and how many individuals were observed.

Site-specific Species Composition

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Curious about how the species lists at your site/s change from season to season or month to month? Select your site in the dropdown list located beneath the "Site Name" box on the right side, to view the species recorded throughout the survey season.  

  • View data for different survey seasons using the slider or left and right arrows beneath the "Season" box in the upper right corner.
  • Hover over each colored bar segment to learn how many birds of each species were counted in the associated month.

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Seattle Audubon is nonprofit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization. Copyright Seattle Audubon.
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