Filling information gaps about marsh birds in the Columbia Wetlands

Project Year: 2018-2019

View Provincial Database Record

Long Billed Curlew Photo Credit: iStock

Project Lead

Goldeneye Ecological Services


Columbia Region

North Columbia

Project Type

Habitat-Based Actions

FWCP Contribution


Action Plan Alignment

Riparian and Wetlands Action Plan

Project ID


Presentation on Marsh Bird Monitoring in Wetlands

November 19, 7 p.m. at the Golden Public Library

Update: 191 marsh bird surveys lead to conservation action

Secretive or inconspicuous marsh birds in the Columbia Wetlands near Golden are being surveyed to estimate their populations and identify habitat needs. Goldeneye Ecological Services, with seven volunteers, completed 191 surveys at 65 survey stations, collecting data on 108 bird species.

This information will help inform conservation actions and with FWCP funding, there are plans to install nest boxes, work with landowners, and restore an old mill site. Interim results have already been submitted to influence decisions on local restoration and management plans.

Final results of the three-year project will be available in spring 2020, but already some interesting findings have surfaced. There were high detection rates of Pied-billed Grebe, Sora, Redwinged Blackbird, Yellow Warbler, and Willow Flycatcher. In addition, the Blue-listed American Bittern — a focal species for the FWCP — was detected 10 times at five survey stations near Brisco. Specific habitat types are important for these birds and will be the focus of future habitat conservation actions.

Columbia Wetlands marsh bird monitoring project

Inconspicuous marsh birds are difficult to detect; population status and habitat use for these birds are not well-known. The Columbia Wetlands marsh bird monitoring project (CWMBMP) addresses information deficiencies by collecting baseline data for 42 FWCP inventory species and four FWCP focal species. This project conducts repeated marsh bird surveys at 62 survey stations in the Columbia Wetlands (within the Canadian Intermountain Joint Venture region) over three years, to estimate bird population numbers, and identify significant habitat units used for breeding. Data from the CWMBMP is needed before making management recommendations and prior to implementing compensation actions. In 2018, this project will include a landowner outreach component, focused on educating those who have the greatest ability to affect wetland and waterfowl values on the landscape.

View more about this project on the provincial database