Conservation InSight

Powell Butte Grassland Bird Surveys



Conservation InSight is collaborating with the Johnson Creek Watershed Council and Portland Parks & Recreation on a Citizen Science project to collect data on the bird community and composition at Powell Butte Nature Park (PBNP).  By participating in this project, volunteers will help us understand the composition and abundance of landbirds (i.e., passerines and raptors) using restored habitat at PBNP. This Citizen Science project was implemented to engage the community with other scientific research being conducted by Conservation InSight at PBNP studying the effects of restoration actions on grassland bird populations at the Nature Park. While the main focus of our research at PBNP is on grassland birds, other avian guilds are also expected to benefit from restoration actions conducted by Portland Parks & Recreation. Thus, data collected by volunteers will help inform management on impacts to the overall landbird population at the Nature Park.

Volunteers will be asked to walk on predetermined survey routes (i.e., line transects; download our Survey Route Map below) and record all birds encountered following established protocols (download our comprehensive Grassland Bird Survey Protocol below). Data will be collected using the free Cornell Lab of Ornithology bird listing application eBird – all volunteers will be asked to create a free eBird account to participate in our surveys. Download our Entering eBird Data guide below to learn how to enter your data for our Citizen Science bird surveys. 

Although we are asking volunteers to collect data for all birds encountered on a survey, we are most interested in getting data on grassland bird species (e.g., Western Meadowlarks and Savannah Sparrows). Since these species can be difficult to identify an identification guide is included in this document; we will also be providing useful tips during our training sessions. When conducting your surveys, try to focus a bit more effort on searching the grassland habitat along your route. It will be easy to get distracted by forest species on some routes (e.g., along Pipeline Lane) – so just remember to also watch (and listen to) the prairies while you walk!

All volunteers are being organized by the Johnson Creek Watershed Council – click on the link below to sign up. We require that all volunteers attend one of our training classes being held at the Visitors Center at PBNP on April 12th or 13th. However, if you would like to participate in the surveys and can’t make one of these dates please contact us ( to see if we can arrange another time for training.


The files here provide helpful information for our volunteer bird surveyors (survey route map, survey protocol, eBird tips)

and "preliminary" survey data reported by our volunteers. 

All data will be reviewed later and may be modified during our QA/QC review - we will contact volunteers with any questions about records. 

The data files presented here are for informational purposes only so volunteers can see what birds are being found up on Powell Butte!

PBNP Survey Route Map (jpg)


Grassland Bird Survey Protocol 2019 (pdf)


Entering eBird Data (pdf)


PBNP_CS Survey Data 2019_WK1-2 (pdf)


PBNP_CS Survey Data 2019_WK3-4 (pdf)


PBNP_CS Survey Data 2019_FINAL (pdf)