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!