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About Mountain Birdwatch

Mountain Birdwatch is about the birds, but it doesn't happen without people. It takes an organization committed to the endeavor and a whole bunch of dedicated citizen scientists.

The Citizen-Scientists

From its inception, Mountain Birdwatch has depended on citizen-scientists. Annually surveying birds across hundreds of square kilometers of mountaintop forest would be impossible absent their belief in the importance of this effort and their willingness to support that belief with action.

The Honor Roll: meet the people who have volunteered their time to collect Mountain Birdwatch. 

The Organizations

The Vermont Center for Ecostudies led the development and implementation of Mountain Birdwatch. VCE scientists like Kent McFarland, Steve Faccio, Chris Rimmer, Jason Hill, and John Lloyd continue to ensure that the program runs smoothly, that the data are collected and analyzed properly, and that the results get into the hands of the decision-makers that need them. Former VCE scientists like Dan Lambert, Julie Hart, and Judith Scarl helped launch and maintain Mountain Birdwatch in its early years.

In Canada, Mountain Birdwatch has been implemented by Bird Studies Canada, Regroupment Quebec Oiseaux, and the Canadian Wildlife Service.

The Funding Sources

There is no such thing as a free lunch, and no such thing as a free bird survey. Although Mountain Birdwatch survives due to the volunteer efforts of its citizen-scientists, maintaining the program costs money. Many people, organizations, and government agencies have provided generously.

First and foremost, the US Fish and Wildlife Service has provided funds that have supported Mountain Birdwatch for more than 15 years. Many thanks to the Fish and Wildlife Service and in particular the regional landbird biologist, Randy Dettmers, who not only coordinates funding but is also a long-time Mountain Birdwatcher!

This State of Mountain Birds report was made possible by funds provided by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s New England Forests and Rivers Fund, grant number 49544.

Other important funders, both past and present, include:

  • National Park Service
  • U.S. Forest Service
  • Canadian Wildlife Service
  • Vermont Agency of Natural Resources
  • New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
  • Plum Creek (now Weyerhaeuser)
  • Cullman Foundation
  • Stonehouse Farm Fund of the Upper Valley Community Foundation, a division of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation.
  • ESRI, who provided software to help GIS analysis and mapping
  • Many, many private donors to VCE


State of Mountain Birds