Volunteers conduct three surveys between May and June for the Illinois Marsh Bird Survey. Each surveys begins early in the morning and lasts between 2-3 hours. Routes consist of 1-14 points at a wetland site. At each point, surveyors will listen for marsh bird calls during an 10-minute period. The 10 minutes will include a passive listening period and a broadcast period where the calls of target species are played to solicit bird responses.
Beginner and advanced birders are welcome to volunteer. We require advanced birders to have good hearing and know or be able to learn the target species by sight and sound. Beginners can participate as an assistant who will help with navigation and playing the recording. All volunteers should have good navigation skills and be able to hike through wetland terrain and take detailed data records.