Why Monitor Breeding Birds?

Black-capped chickadee © Jake LeSuer
Black-capped chickadee © Jake LeSuer

Breeding birds are an obvious choice to include in Mass Audubon’s wildlife sanctuary inventory and monitoring program because:

  • As an organization that was founded to protect birds, we have a long and cherished connection with birds and bird conservation.
  • In this age of rapid climate change and changes in our natural landscape due to human activity, birds can be vital environmental indicators, telling us about the health of our ecosystems.
  • Monitoring helps us understand how our conservation efforts impact vulnerable groups (e.g., neotropical migrants, grassland birds, freshwater marsh birds).
  • Breeding by birds more adequately reflects habitat quality than does simple presence or absence of bird species.