The Sonoran Joint Venture Technical Committee outlined two needs at the December 2015 meeting: 1) Determine current distribution status and habitat preference data for Bendire’s Thrashers and other thrashers and 2) Increase eBird coverage for remote sections of the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts to inform solar mitigation decision-making. This project works to meet these two needs.
Point Blue is working with BLM CA Desert District Offices to conduct Bendire’s Thrasher surveys at known breeding locations throughout San Bernardino County, CA. Range-wide Bendire’s Thrasher surveys have not occurred in California for many years, and while Bendire’s Thrasher populations appear to be declining, their current distribution and status remain unclear. Following Tucson Audubon Society’s model, we will recruit volunteers to increase our thrasher survey coverage across a greater portion of the California Bendire’s Thrasher breeding range. We will capitalize on the opportunity presented by volunteer coverage at remote desert locations, and recruit and organize surveyors to visit pre-selected (‘avicached’) locations to increase eBird desert coverage of migrants. We propose to work with the SJV and eBird to develop avicaching location lists that volunteers can mix with thrasher survey locations, and to coordinate visitation to these sites by thrasher survey volunteers.