Route Monitoring

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.

The Route Program is where we need the most volunteer help as over 900 points are surveyed every spring. 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 in about 3-4 hours. 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 below to get started. You can even start right away by taking the Self-Test to find out if you qualify!

Route Program Participation Steps

Steps are listed below. Required steps in Bold.
  1. Participation Overview
  2.  Find out a little more about the program.
  3. Self-Test
  4. All participants must first pass a quick and painless self-test. See above for the link.
  5. Registration Simple, free registration required for Route Sign-up and Data Entry.
  6. TBC Map Map of all TBC routes.
  7. Bird ID Center
  8.  Lists of Tucson-area birds, photos, sounds, and other info.
  9. Route Sign-Up
  10.  Sign up online for the route(s) you want to survey.
  11. Survey Instructions
  12.  Survey instructions. Your own route maps & data forms will be mailed.
  13. Survey! Apr 15-May 15
  14.  Not everything is on this page. Go count birds!
  15. Data Entry
  16.  Enter your count data with easy-to-use forms over the web.
  17. Results
  18.  The fruits of your labor! Tucson-area bird distribution maps, etc.