Earlier this month on Saturday the 5th, the intrepid Arizona IBA team from Tucson plus one volunteer headed to Phoenix to teach a workshop. The purpose of this workshop was to train volunteers to become Important Bird Area surveyors. Being an IBA surveyor is loads of fun, but does require a bit of technical training which is why we hold these workshops. Arizona IBA is a state-wide program which is why we hold workshops in both Tucson and Phoenix. This way we can have trained volunteers conducting surveys all over the state!
Soon the 14 participants arrived and settled down, eager to learn. Scott first covered what the Important Bird Area program consists of, the fact that it is an international program with about 10,000 IBA sites recognized world wide! This is a very important program that works to recognize the most important areas for birds in the world! After a brief break, Scott and Jennie then covered the technical aspects of survey protocol and correctly filling out the data sheets. We went through the sheets one by one, explaining all of the tricky scenarios that can come up in the field and how to deal with each of them. Tice then talked about modern electronic resources available to help participants hone their bird identification skills and audio identification skills. Much of the identifications that IBA volunteers make are by sound, so it is important for our volunteers to know and review them. We then had a delicious lunch break provided by Arizona Audubon.