Important Bird Areas and Bird Blitzes

Red-headed Woodpecker
© George Jett

Birding with a Purpose!
Since 2006, the Audubon Maryland-DC Important Bird Areas (IBA) Program has utilized Bird Blitz surveys in its efforts to identify sites across the state that provide critical bird habitat and support significant populations of Maryland's vulnerable bird species. These surveys are volunteer-based and involve counting and mapping at-risk bird species listed in the IBA Criteria. Bird Blitz targets breeding At-risk bird species because site-specific data for these birds are most lacking. Bird Blitz data are used to determine whether sites support significant state, continental, or global populations of At-risk bird species and therefore qualify as a new State IBA or elevate the status of a State IBA to Continental or Global significance.

Bird Blitz is vital to the identification and status assessment of IBAs in Maryland. As of 2012, the Maryland-DC IBA network now includes 42 IBAs. Since 2006, nearly 100 volunteers acting as citizen-scientists have conducted Bird Blitz surveys resulting in the identification of 20 new IBAs. Bird Blitz data from recent years is still being reviewed for several sites; however, there are still potential sites which need to be surveyed to complete the IBA network.

In 2012, Bird Blitz efforts will focus on a large gap in the IBA network in Western Maryland in and around Savage River State Forest, in Garrett County. Routes for Bird Blitz surveys have been developed in this target area to ensure adequate coverage at each site.

2012 Target site
Savage River State Forest, Garrett County

Please contact David Curson at 410-558-2473 or by email to receive information on Bird Blitz survey routes.

A special thanks to Audubon MD-DC partner organizations for their generous support of the IBA Program and Bird Blitz 2012:

Audubon Society of Central Maryland
Maryland Ornithological Society
Maryland Department of Natural Resources

Visit Audubon's National IBA website for site-specific information about Maryland's Important Bird Areas as well as Important Bird Areas across the United States.

See links below for BIRD BLITZ MATERIALS:

Donate: Important Bird Areas Program

Copyright  2013 National Audubon Society, Inc