Form for Waterbird Records at a Freshwater Stream or Flooded Pasture

By Range Bayer. Last modified on 26 May 2003.

INTRODUCTION.--The purpose of these data forms is to serve as examples in setting up your own data forms. A data form is helpful in making data recording easier and more accurate and also to simplify data analyses.

DIFFERENCES BETWEEN PRINT AND ELECTRONIC VERSIONS.--The print version was up to 125 columns wide per line, but line wrapping makes such long lines impractical in the electronic version, so I have changed this material in the electronic version so that it is 76 columns or less.

In May 2003 I slightly revised this form, which I had originally donated and put with each of the 136 Sandpipers (a publication of Yaquina Birders & Naturalists) published on 2 October 1993. There was only only one response. In June 1994, I also revised this form.


Because birdlife at freshwater rivers and creeks may often not be exciting, we often don't take the time to see what waterbirds are there. Accordingly, we don't know much about the birdlife of our Lincoln County streams.

Bob Llewellyn has made many observations at the Siletz River near Logsden, and most of our knowledge about waterbirds at streams comes from the observations he made during his walks from his home.

But we need many more observations to help learn such things as whether kingfishers are summer residents at our freshwater streams, like they appear to be at Bob's, or if Spotted Sandpipers and Green Herons overwinter at any of our streams--they don't at Bob's.

So won't you consider repeatedly visiting and observing some portion of a Lincoln County freshwater creek or river near you and sharing your waterbird observations with us? Or how about visiting some distant stream and discovering what you may find? Choose an observation site at a bridge, boat launch, or other access point.

Please record your observations on the enclosed form or in your own journal.


Your Name:______________________________

Observation Site Location & Boundary Description:________________________________________________________________

Choose an observation site such as a bridge, boat launch, or other access point that you can go to without scaring away waterbirds, where birds are easily visible, and that has landmarks as boundaries (e.g., riverbend).

Observe your site consistently for at least 5-15 minutes each time. Record when you start and end each observation by Local Time (PDT in summer, PST in winter).

Try to observe at least once a week or at least every other week for at least 4-6 months to see seasonal changes.

Do record the presence of people and their activities because people can have a major impact on the presence of birds.

When listed, species are given alphabetically (also see 1990 Oregon Birds 16[3]:226), so that it is easier to quickly find species.

You may be disappointed because you don't see anything during one or many observations. Don't despair. Please record the absence of waterbirds because one can learn as much from absence as presence. Recording options in order of increasing value:

1) just note if a waterbird species is present with an "X"

2) record the maximum number of each waterbird species simultaneously seen during your observation

3) record the maximum number of each species simultaneously seen and also record the activity of birds using the following codes:

B=bank. Waterbird perching, standing, or walking along the stream bank; but NOT in the water.

F=flying. Waterbird flying over the stream.

W=water. Bird wading, standing, or swimming in water

N=number of boats, people, or waterbirds.

Date of
Observation=>        |______|______|______|______|______|______|______|_____
Start (Local Time)==>|______|______|______|______|______|______|______|_____
End (Local Time)====>|______|______|______|______|______|______|______|_____
Boats (N [=number])__|______|______|______|______|______|______|______|_____
Bank Fishermen (N)___|______|______|______|______|______|______|______|_____
Boat Fishermen (N)___|______|______|______|______|______|______|______|_____
Duck Hunters (N)_____|______|______|______|______|______|______|______|_____
Other People (N)_____|______|______|______|______|______|______|______|_____

Dipper, American_____|______|______|______|______|______|______|______|_____
Heron, Great Blue____|______|______|______|______|______|______|______|_____
Heron, Green_________|______|______|______|______|______|______|______|_____
Kingfisher, Belted___|______|______|______|______|______|______|______|_____
Merganser, Common____|______|______|______|______|______|______|______|_____
Merganser, Hooded____|______|______|______|______|______|______|______|_____
Sandpiper, Spotted___|______|______|______|______|______|______|______|_____
Teal, Green-winged___|______|______|______|______|______|______|______|_____
Wigeon, American_____|______|______|______|______|______|______|______|_____

Please Send a Copy of Your Observations to or Request More Forms from Range Bayer, P.O. Box 1467, Newport, OR 97365

Return to Lincoln County (Oregon) Bird Information

Email comments to Range Bayer or see Yaquina.Info Page, Newport, Oregon 97365 USA.