Western Cuyahoga Audubon Society

We Need You!

It would have been impossible to collect the amount of data that has been collected in the past five years without the help of passionate citizen scientists of the WCAS.

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To ensure that the quality of data collected at point count stations is not significantly compromised due to variation among observers in their abilities to accurately identify species and estimate distances. This is the Rocky River IBA Data Quality Assurance.

Species Identification Standards

An observer must meet certain m

inimum standards for identification of species. For the Forest bird Survey, each Observer must be able to demonstrate proficiency in identifying at least 90% of the regularly occurring species by both sight and sound (songs and cal notes). A proficiency test must be passed to qualify as an observer.

Regularly occurring woodland and forest -dwelling species include:

  • Wild turkey
  • Cooper’s hawk
  • Sharp-shinned hawk
  • Red-tailed hawk
  • Red-shouldered hawk
  • Broad-winged hawk
  • Great-horned owl
  • Barred owl
  • Screech owl
  • Yellow-billed cuckoo
  • Belted kingfisher
  • Red-headed woodpecker
  • Pileated woodpecker
  • Yellow-shafted flicker
  • Red-bellied woodpecker
  • Downy woodpecker
  • Hairy woodpecker
  • Great-crested flycatcher
  • Eastern wood-pewee
  • Eastern phoebe
  • Acadian Flycatcher
  • Chimney Swift Common Crow
  • Blue jay
  • Black-capped chickadee
  • Tufted titmouse
  • White-breasted nuthatch
  • Brown Creeper
  • House Wren
  • Carolina Wren
  • Blue-gray gnatcatcher
  • Gray Catbird
  • Eastern Bluebird
  • American Robin
  • Veery
  • Wood Thrush
  • Cedar waxwing
  • Red-eyed vireo
  • Yellow-throated vireo
  • American Red-start
  • Hooded Warbler
  • Louisiana water thrush
  • Ovenbird
  • Brown0headed cowbird
  • Common grackle
  • European Starling
  • Baltimore Oriole
  • Scarlet Tanager
  • House Sparrow
  • Northern Cardinal
  • House Finch
  • American Goldfinch
  • Indigo Bunting
  • R0se-breasted Grosbeak
  • Eastern Towhee
  • Chipping Sparrow
  • Song Sparrow

The proficiency test will consist of an indoors evaluation, whereby the individual being tested (a) views single projected images of 20 species and (b) listens to songs or call notes of 20 species. At least 18 of both the 20 images and the 20 aural cues must be correctly identified to be qualified as an Observer.

Distance Estimation Standards

An Observer must meet certain minimum standards for estimation of distances. For the Forest Bird Survey, each Observer must be able to demonstrate proficiency in correctly categorizing at least 85%of test distances into one of three distance categories (0-25 m, 26-50 m, >50 m). A proficiency test must be passed to qualify as an Observer.

The proficiency test will consist of a field evaluation, whereby the individual being tested stands at a stationary point (equivalent of the point count station) and must place each of 20 randomly placed flags into the correct distance category. At least 17 of the 20 flags must be correctly categorized.

Distance testingAssignment of Point Count Stations

Each Observer will be assigned a set of point count stations (preferably 5 or 10) for which she or he will be responsible. THe set of stations assigned to each Observer will be agreed upon prior to implementation by both the Observer and the Project Coordinator. Locations of count stations must be either visited prior to commencement of the surveys or at least reviewed with the project coordinator on maps.

Each observer will receive a (a) paper map, (b) written description, and (c) geographic coordinates of each point count location.

Number of Visits to each Point Count Station

Each point count station will be visited three times during the breeding season.

Seasonal Time Period during Which Surveys will be Performed

All point count surveys will be completed between May 25 and July 15. Consecutive surveys at the same station must be separated by at least six days.

Reporting of Point Count Data

Point count survey forms must be delivered to the project coordinator, or other assigned individual, within one week of data collection.

Link To The Western Cuyahoga Audubon Society Website:


Visit The Metroparks

From watching animals at the zoo, to swimming at one of the beaches or hiking the trails, the Metroparks can provide the outdoor activity you are looking for. It is important to get you and your family involved outdoors and do your part to preserve what natural land we have left. 

Visit metroparks to learn more, and get involved!