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What Can the Birds Tell Us?

Climate change, habitat loss, pesticides, feral cats, light pollution--these are all obstacles to our birds that move between hemispheres. If they could talk, they could tell us why they’ve chosen to live in Sausal Creek, what they like to feed on, and how our restoration efforts have helped them. Since they can’t, our intrepid team of amateur ornithologists has been tracking them for over 16 years. Currently the team meets every quarter to monitor nine sites in the watershed. They count and identify the birds they see and hear, chart the data, and send it to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology for archiving. The team has logged over 150 species living in or migrating though the watershed since 2002.


Team members have generated a bird checklist for community education purposes and have now begun to analyze the data to eventually draw conclusions about the impacts of our restoration efforts, urbanization, and climate change. In other words, our owls, robins, falcons, hawks, and sparrows are our canaries in the coal mine. “But we need at least 10 more years of data to really be able to draw scientific conclusions,” says biologist and founding board member Mark Rauzon, who began and leads the bird monitoring program. “So the data analysis effort is really just beginning.”

We need your donations to support and expand the bird data analysis. Please be as generous as you can. And to join the bird monitoring team, contact Mark Rauzon at mjrauz [at] or check the event calendar.