Bright red and black bird on a branch
Scarlet Tanager


If birds no longer filled a June morning with song, would the national park experience be diminished? Would we view northern parks differently if there were more Field Sparrows and grackles than White-throated Sparrows and Gray Jays? Monitoring landbirds (also known as songbirds) in the national parks provides a window into the larger workings of the land. It may be that our monitoring will only highlight the changes in park bird populations, but the popularity of birds to the visiting public, and the NPS mission to protect wildlife in the parks, make it necessary for us to know all we can about what lives within our boundaries.

Long-term Monitoring

The goal of this monitoring program is to improve the consistency, comparability, quality, and access to landbird monitoring data being collected each year by network parks. To accomplish this, we will:

  1. Use a standardized sampling method that is flexible enough to fit the unique sampling challenges at each park, but still yields data that are comparable across parks and at regional and national levels.
  2. Develop and integrate quality control measures such as training and certification for observers.
  3. Provide a network-wide database for storage and retrieval of data.
  4. Disseminate information to partners and other interested parties.

Learn More

Briefs provide a one- or two-page overview of the latest findings and what they mean. Monitoring reports are in-depth technical reports that include data analyses and possibly management recommendations.


Source: Data Store Saved Search 393. To search for additional information, visit the Data Store.

Monitoring Reports

Source: Data Store Saved Search 411. To search for additional information, visit the Data Store.

Monitoring Protocol

Protocol documents detail precisely how monitoring is carried out.

Gostomski, T., M. Knutson, N. P. Danz, B. Route, and T. W. Sutherland. 2010. Landbird monitoring protocol, Great Lakes Inventory and Monitoring Network. Natural Resource Report NPS/GLKN/NRR—2010/225. National Park Service, Fort Collins, Colorado.

Last updated: October 11, 2018