Since 2011, Tracy Aviary has implemented a range of citizen science projects which involve a diverse community of people in conservation work and increase knowledge about local birds and habitats. We focus our research efforts on identified local, national, and international conservation priorities. For example, we conduct annual breeding bird surveys in sites along the Jordan River to better understand how birds use these urban riparian areas and to provide information to land managers about non-native plant species management. Other projects include a Broad-tailed hummingbird monitoring study, a survey at Alta Ski Area, breeding bird surveys at numerous city parks, and a series of “Migration Moonwatches” to survey birds migrating at night.
City Creek Citizen science project
In partnership with Salt Lake Public Utilities and the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, we have been conducting annual breeding bird surveys in City Creek Canyon, UT, since 2011. The goal of this project is to generate science-based knowledge oriented towards providing decision support tools for managers of the canyon. Over time, we can better understand how the abundance and distribution of birds relates to the quality of the habitat they live in, and we can use this information to support bird and riparian habitat conservation.
Throughout the seasons we have been documenting many different types of birds found at Liberty Park, where Tracy Aviary is located. Common year-round residents include the California and Ring-billed Gull, Mallard, Canada Goose, and European Starling. Breeding migratory birds like the Yellow Warbler and Spotted Sandpiper call Liberty Park home in the summer. Migratory species of Western Tanager and warbler pass through the park. Due to the water source in the winter we have sporadically observed several interesting duck species such as the Common Goldeneye and Common Merganser. Among other uncommon visitors are the Bald Eagle, Black-crowned Night Heron, Osprey, and Snowy Egret. The diversity of habitat and gradient of “openness” attracts these many different types of birds. Liberty Park plays an essential role in providing green space for wildlife and people.
Bird monitoring at alta, ut
Tracy Aviary citizen scientists join up with expert birders in search of our feathered friends that call Alta home. Studying this unique, high elevation habitat allows us to better understand the species that live here. Our bird list and counts are continually growing. Surveys are done in summer on breeding birds and in winter, on skis, for non-breeding bird species!
PARLEY'S HISTORIC PARK
Neighborhood and community volunteers train with professionals to generate data about the birds present at Parley’s Historic Nature Park. The park has undergone considerable change and habitat restoration in the recent years. The project will establish a starting point and begin collecting and analyzing data to help better understand the current habitat conditions for birds in the park.
SCOTT AVENUE PARK
Scott Avenue Park is an important green space for wildlife and people. Green spaces provide vital habitat and resources for wildlife species, especially birds. Birds use this park in particular for its open space, riparian corridor, and ponds. Teams of citizen scientists and biologists have collected valuable data on the birds that frequent the Scott Avenue Park contributing to management recommendations to better preserve this green space.
Jordan river bird surveys through citizen science
The Jordan River is an important corridor for many bird species who use it for migration, breeding, and permanent residency. Citizen scientists and conservation biologists document the various bird species as well as any habitat changes they find along the Jordan River. Birds are important indicators of ecosystem health, and within this matrix of urban and riparian habitat little is known of their success. It is important that we understand how these urban and natural habitats are developing together over time, so that we may advocate for adaptive management and development where needed.
Here at the Tracy Aviary bird feeders are located throughout the grounds and dedicated staff members assist in identifying and documenting the various visitors. Conservation in our own backyard! Visitors to the aviary can sit among the birds on benches, bird identification brochure in-hand, and practice identifying or simply enjoy the antics of our local songbirds.