It's Fun! It's Science! It's a BioBlitz!

Microsoft-Fargo volunteers joined Audubon Dakota's first Fall Migration BioBlitz.

For the second year, Audubon Dakota participated in Microsoft’s October Give Month program. Throughout October, Microsoft pledges to match their employees’ donations of time and money. Thanks to a multi-year partnership with staff at Microsoft-Fargo, dedicated volunteers have joined us in our conservation efforts at various Urban Woods and Prairies Initiative sites across Fargo-Moorhead throughout the entire month. This year, volunteers from Microsoft-Fargo and from the NDSU Wildlife Society joined Audubon Dakota staff for our first Fall Migration BioBlitz. In case you didn’t already know: October is a perfect time to go birding! Even well into October, dozens of species of birds are on the move to their southern wintering grounds. From waterfowl to songbirds there’s plenty to see – a perfect time to organize the first-ever Fall Migration BioBlitz!

According to National Geographic, a BioBlitz is an event where natural resource experts and community members participate in identifying as many species as possible within a short amount of time in a specific location. Our Fall Migration BioBlitz focused on looking for birds, but also included mammals, plants, and insects! At the BioBlitz, volunteers enjoyed a fall hike at Orchard Glen Park, an Urban Woods and Prairies Initiative site located in Fargo, ND.  

Using a smartphone or camera, volunteers joined in on the community science project and hiked the trails of Orchard Glen Park all while taking pictures of dozens of plants and wildlife. It was an exciting afternoon! We were fortunate enough to spot bees buzzing around the park, wooly-bear caterpillars, and of course, various species of birds. We spotted a pair of Blue Jays, a large flock of Orange-crowned Warblers, Black-capped Chickadees, and even more birds! Volunteers uploaded their findings onto our specially created project page on iNaturalist. This platform allowed volunteers to share their BioBlitz photos and stories with one another, while more importantly, contributing to a crucial community science project. Projects like this one are great because they not only provide useful data, but also give community members a first-hand look at a nearby natural area to see that local parks have biodiversity and are important to conserve!

Fall prairie seed collections were scheduled in addition to the Fall Migration BioBlitz, however, seed collections were cancelled due to weather.

Are you interested in joining us at a future community science volunteer event? Audubon’s 122nd Christmas Bird Count kicks off next month, December 14, 2021, to January 5, 2022. Add to over a century of community science by joining a count near you! Learn more!

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