Woman holding binoculars Join today and get outside at one of our 60+ wildlife sanctuaries.
Woman holding binoculars Join today and get outside at one of our 60+ wildlife sanctuaries.
Tall yellow flowers in a green garden with a red barn in the background.
Drumlin Farm, Lincoln

Teen Birders from Drumlin Farm Take on Saltmarsh Sparrow Monitoring

October 12, 2023

Each month, the Teen Birders program based at Drumlin Farm meets up for birding adventures at the sanctuary, throughout the region, and beyond. Recently, this group of enthusiastic young birders spent the day in Rumney Marsh in Revere to help Northeast Wetland Restoration Director, Geoff Wilson, gather data for an ongoing Saltmarsh Sparrow monitoring project.

A Saltmarsh Sparrow perches in the grass.

Saltmarsh Sparrow © John Wysocki, age 15

The Saltmarsh Sparrow is one of few bird species endemic to the eastern United States. These small birds build their nests just inches from the waterline in tidal marsh grasses during the 28 days between the highest tides of the season. This narrow window for success leaves them highly vulnerable to the effects of climate change and sea level rise. The combination of climate threats and habitat loss has caused a population decline rate of about 9% per year.

A group of teen birders pose with cameras amid Rumney Marsh.

During the Teen Birders' outing to the marsh, they spotted around 20 Saltmarsh Sparrows and contributed to the growing collection of information about these birds at Rumney Marsh. Along the way, the group discussed marsh ecology and what makes salt marshes unique and important ecosystems. Over the course of the day, Osprey and a Peregrine Falcon visited the area, as well as shorebirds, swifts, and swallows.

Our Teen Birders have participated in Bird-a-thon, explored ponds for wintering ducks, set out to find a variety of warblers, and the list goes on. Explore our program catalog for more information about our teen programs.