Photo by Tom Middleton

Help Us Count Shorebirds!

It’s that time of year again so mark your calendars! We are delighted to announce that we will be coordinating the 2020 Annual Puget Sound Shorebird Count! Most of the surveys will take place on November 27, 2020, although sites in Padilla Bay will be done a few days earlier.

This event is part of the Pacific Flyway Shorebird Survey, a long-term monitoring program for wintering shorebirds led by Point Blue Conservation Science. Join a vast network of volunteers and biologists along the Pacific Flyway that captures a snapshot of wintering shorebird abundance each year.

The Puget Sound Shorebird County, which has been conducted annually since 2012, collects information from approximately 23 sites, including Samish, Padilla, Fidalgo and Port Susan Bays.

Got binoculars and scopes? Love birds? Contact Karla Kelly at to sign up!


In the winter of 2012, Ecostudies Institute, in collaboration with Washington Dept. of Fish and Wildlife and US Forest Service International Program, began coordinating a Citizen Science winter shorebird monitoring effort in Puget Sound. The goal of this effort is to provide a mechanism to monitor long-term changes in shorebird populations in Puget Sound, while at the same time contribute to a large-scale, flyway-wide shorebird monitoring effort called the Pacific Flyway Shorebird Survey, which is coordinated by Point Blue Conservation Science

Shorebirds using the Pacific Flyway are dependent upon a network of widely spaced estuarine sites between the Arctic and South America for wintering and migrating to and from their breeding grounds. Shorebirds also have exhibited long-term population declines. The lack of broad-scale coordinated monitoring along the Pacific Flyway limits our ability to understand the problem and design conservation strategies to benefit shorebirds

In Washington State, Puget Sound contains 26 estuarine sites that support > 1,000 shorebirds. However, the major stopover and wintering areas are located in four large estuaries in northern Puget Sound.