Bird Community Monitoring

Green jay perched on a branch
A green jay perched on a branch. This species is seen at Palo Alto Battlefield NHP.

NPS/Billy Finney

The Gulf Coast is a major flyway, breeding area, and over-wintering area for many North American birds. This high avian diversity is an important attraction for visitors to the region's national parks.

The main reasons for monitoring landbirds in Gulf Coast Network parks are:

  1. Many species found in the parks are protected by the Endangered Species Act (1973) and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act .
  2. Some landbird species are specifically identified in the management objectives of the parks.
  3. Landbirds are considered to be indicators of broader change because they respond quickly to changes in natural resource conditions.
  4. Similar regional and national datasets of landbird populations exist for areas adjacent to the parks.

The background, rationale and procedures for breeding landbird monitoring by the network are described in a protocol narrative and 7 standard operating procedure (SOP) documents. The protocol is titled "Monitoring Breeding Landbirds in National Parks of the Gulf Coast Network." It was published in the NPS Natural Resource Report Series in late 2018, and it is available to the public through the links posted further below.

A summary of the vital sign and monitoring approach can be found in the 2-page brief: Breeding Landbird Monitoring Program Summary.

The network's approach to monitoring breeding landbirds focuses on a subset of the bird species that use Gulf Coast Network parks. To learn about all of the bird species in network parks, see our park-specific inventory reports and species lists for birds.

Source: Data Store Saved Search 3497. To search for additional information, visit the Data Store.

Source: Data Store Saved Search 1239. To search for additional information, visit the Data Store.

Red-winged blackbird perched in a tree
The red-winged blackbird is a common landbird species that breeds in several Gulf Coast Network parks

Photo by Chris Adams

two images: first an adult summer tanager with bright red plumage and second an immature summer tanager with more mottled plumage
An adult summer tanager (left) and an immature summer tanager (right). This species breeds in some Gulf Coast Network parks, including Gulf Islands National Seashore, Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve, and Vicksburg National Military Park

left photo credit: Billy Finney/NPS; right photo credit: Chris Adams

A white-eyed vireo perched on a branch
White-eyed vireos are known to occur and breed in most Gulf Coast Network parks.

Billy Finney/NPS

Last updated: November 10, 2023