Featured Survey Site!
Brown's Point (Pierce County)
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What is the Puget Sound Seabird Survey?
Started in 2007, PSSS is the only multi-month, land-based seabird survey in Puget Sound: and it runs on citizen science!
Surveys are conducted by birdwatchers (and citizen scientists!) who use a sophisticated protocol to collect data on 50+ species of seabirds in Puget Sound.
Survey sites are specific locations established by Seattle Audubon. Nearly all are located on publicly-accessible saltwater shoreline.
All surveys are synchronized to take place during a four hour window (determined by Seattle Audubon) on the first Saturday of the month, October through April. Each survey is 15-30 minutes.
All "seabird" species: geese, swans, diving and dabbling ducks, loons, grebes, cormorants, gulls, terns, murres, murrelets, Pigeon Guillemots, auklets and puffins. Because the presence of raptors can affect the distribution of seabirds, hawks, eagles and falcons are also recorded.
Using a ruler and a compass, surveyors gathers data that allows scientists to estimate bird density through 'distance sampling?. Simply counting the number of birds in a given location is a simpler approach, but it forces scientists to assume that all birds are detected by observers. In reality, detection of any species declines with the distance from the observer: poor sighting conditions, quality of observing equipment, and observer inexperience all contribute to declining detection likelihood as distance increases. Distance sampling provides a robust approach to estimating density and allow for calculation of less biased density estimates.