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Saving the Blue Crow: How Community Science helps the Pinyon Jay
The Pinyon Jay (Gymnorhinus cyanocephalus), an iconic bird of western Pinyon-Juniper forests, has declined precipitously since the late sixties. Drought, climate change, and habitat conversions negatively impact the bird, and researchers are struggling to get an accurate picture of Pinyon Jay status, due to the birds’ enormous range and nomadic nature. Enter community scientists and an ambitious monitoring plan that’s based on other successful community-based efforts including Christmas Bird Counts, Climate Watch and Important Bird Area Monitoring. Learn more about each of these projects and how you can help birds while learning and gaining experience in the field.
Cathy Wise, Audubon Southwest Community Science Manager
Cathy Wise holds a BS in Avian Sciences from UC Davis and has studied birds throughout the west. She is currently with Audubon Southwest, the regional office of the National Audubon Society and prior to that, worked for the US Forest Service, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, and the Arizona Game and Fish Department. Cathy oversees “Downtown Owls” Burrowing Owl relocation project in partnership with Wild At Heart, coordinates Western Yellow-billed Cuckoo surveys on BLM lands, and works to promote intentional landscaping through Audubon’s “Plants for Birds” program. An avid hiker, climber, and snowboarder, she is also a gardener and beer enthusiast. Article by Cathy