USA NPN National Phenology Network

Taking the Pulse of Our Planet

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Audubon input on Bird Protocols and Activity Curves Visualization

Brief description: 
Audubon CA's BirdSeasons CA observers, along with Sandy DeSimone, provided input on Nature's Notebook bird protocols and in-depth discussions led to the creation of the Activity Curves Visualization.
Partner Organization: 
Contact Name: 
Sandy DeSimone
Contact Email:
Project Start Date: 
Background Information: 
Sandy DeSimone is the Director of Research and Education at Audubon Starr Ranch, and has created the Bird Seasons CA effort. She has recruited 6 Audubon chapters in California to use Nature's Notebook to better understand how phenology of birds, butterflies, and their habitats are changing. Sandy approached USA-NPN with questions she had received from Bird Seasons CA Chapter leaders about the USA-NPN bird protocols, and suggestions for how to improve them. This led to the USA-NPN updating our bird protocols by revealing an additional set of phenophases to allow observers to better capture the life cycle of birds. In the process of soliciting feedback on the protocols, language, and other suggested edits, Audubon participants expressed a desire to have an easier way to visualize the phenological activity of birds and other species. The existing phenology calendar does not show the peak in activity of phenophases. This led to the USA-NPN's creation of the Activity Curves.
Research Question: 
How is bird phenology changing across California? What is the impact of fire on phenology of birds, butterflies, and their habitats?
Data Used: 
BirdSeasons CA collects data via Nature's Notebook at multiple sites across California.
Relevant decision/action: 
USA-NPN updated bird protocols and created the Activity Curves visualization in the Visualization Tool.
Resource Management Outcome(s): 
Activity curves allow users to display the seasonal magnitude and shape of observations through time across sites, allowing users to explore how the timing and intensity of phenological stages compare between years, regions, species and phenophases. This allows for managers to watch for emerging asynchrony between interacting species; for example, one can investigate potential future issues between flowering and pollinators, or fruit availability and arrival of migratory birds.
Strategic Plan Area: 
Advance Science
Inform Decisions
Educate & Communicate
Is the project complete? : 
Project Complete Date: 
August, 2017
Collaborative Model: