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Our Mission
SPEA is an Environmental not-for-profit organization whose mission is to support research and conservation of wild birds and their habitats, by promoting sustainable development for the benefit of future generations.
Home  > How to help > Volunteering > Field Work
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Field Work
Here you will find basic information about bird census citizen science projects and other actions involving field work. For some, you will need to have good bird identification skills, but for others, you just need the time for it.
  • Bird Census
III Breeding Bird Atlas of Portugal 
SPEA, the Instituto da Conservação da Natureza e das Florestas, the Laboratório de Ornitologia da Universidade de Évora, the Serviço do Parque Natural da Madeira and several other organizations joined in this project. Field work has started in 2015 and 2018 season starts in 15 March (until 30 June). Metholology involves monitoring 10x10 km, with six 30-min transects in six chosen tetrads (2x2 km).  

More info / Contacts 
Contacts: vanessa.oliveira(at)spea.pt


Photo: Robin | Faísca





Common Bird Census (CAC)
Monitoring annual population trends of the most common birds and its use as general biodiversity state indicator is the aim of this project. Sampling is based in monitoring 10x10 km, visited 2 times/year. In each square, 20 5-minutes point counts along a transect are made, and volunteers need to be skilled birders. 

- When: April - 1st visit; May – 2nd visit (note: visits should be separated by 30 days); 
- Where: Portugal (mainland, Azores and Madeira) 
- More info here

Contacts
If you wish to participate please contact us to vanessa.oliveira[arroba]spea.pt.



Owl census | Noctua-Portugal 
The portuguese owl monitoring scheme started in 2009/10. Metholology is simple: each 10x10 km square is visited 3 times/year after sunset, and in each visit 10-minuts 5 point counts are made using passive hearing method. If possible, the volunteer will be responsable for sampling the square(s) the following years. Organized by SPEA's Working Group on Nocturnal Birds.

- When: 1 Dec - 15 June
- Where: mailnland Portugal (in a 10x10 km to decide)
- More info here

Contacts
If you wish to participate, contact us to nocturnas(at)spea.pt


Photo: Little owl | Faísca


Arenaria Project – Distribution and abundance of shore birds in Portugal 
Started in 2009/10, it's a partnership between the Unidade de Investigação em Eco-Etologia (ISPA – Instituto Superior de Psicologia Aplicada), Museu Nacional de História Natural e Ciência and SPEA. Methodolody is simple and involves transect counts in 5x5 km squares.  

- When: 1 Dec to 31 Jan
- Where: mainland Portugal
- More info (in pt): Website of Projeto Arenaria

Contacts
Check the website of Projeto Arenaria.

 

Christmas and New Year Bird Census (CANAN)
The objective is to monitor the population trends of wintering farmland birds. Methology includes an annual transect on farmland with constant characteristics chosen by the volunteer (lenght, location and monitoring vehicle - car, bike, on foot, etc). 

- When: 15 Dec - 31 Jan (ca. 1 morning/year)
- Where: mainland Portugal 
- More info here

Contacts
If you wish to participate, contact us to vanessa.oliveira(at)spea.pt


Photo: Lapwing | Faísca


RAM Days - Seabird Counts Censos de Aves Marinhas | todo o ano 
Iberian project that involves monthly simultaneous seabird counts in capes. Experienced birders are needed, but non-experienced birders, to help register observations, too.

- When (in 2018): 13 Jan, 3 Feb, 3 Mar, 7 Apr, 5 May, 2 Jun, 7 Jul, 4 Aug, 1 Sept, 6 Oct, 3 Nov, 1 Dec
- Schedule: 7h às 10h - May to Sept. | 8h to 11h - Oct. to Apr.
- Where: mainland Portugal – cabo S. Vicente (Sagres), Faro (ilha do Farol), Sines, cabo Espichel (Sesimbra), cabo Raso (Cascais), cabo Carvoeiro (Peniche), Praia da Vagueira (Vagos); Madeira – Porto Moniz; Açores - S. Miguel e Corvo.
- More info here

Registration
If you wish to participate, please contact us to isabel.fagundes[arroba]spea.pt.



Annual Common Buzzard Census
SPEA organizes the annual Common Buzzard Census Buteo buteo subspecies in Azores (Buteo buteo rothschildi) and Madeira archipelagos (Buteo buteo harterti ). This is a true citizen science project and everyone can participate, since data register is very simple - you just need to chose a transect (on foot, car, bike, etc), register all the buzzards you see and then send us your data. 

- When: April 2018 (13.ª edição) - dates to announce
- Where:  Azores and Madeira archipelagos
- More info here

Contacts
- SPEA-Açores/Rúben Coelho: acores[arroba]spea.pt; +351 914 212 449
- SPEA-Madeira/Laura Castello: madeira[arroba]spea.pt; +351 967 232 195 


Common Crane annual census  
Annual census of Common Crane, involving simultaneous bird counts in several wintering areas of Alentejo. Experienced birders needed to be responsable for counting points; non-experienced birders can also join. Counts made by the end of the day in 2 weekends in December and January. Organized by SPEA, LPN, ICNF, GrusExtremadura, with the support of APA and Ministério da Educação.

- When: 15-17 Dec 2017 and 19-21 jan 2018 
- Where: Alentejo (several places: Arronches/Campo Maior/Alburquerque, Évora, Mourão/Villanueva del Fresno, Moura, Campo Branco) 

Contacts
If you wish to participate, contact us to vanessa.oliveira(at)spea.pt


Photo: common cranes | José Viana


Wintering Red Kite Annual Census 
Red Kite wintering populations census is made by counting individuals in roosting areas, in several European countries. In Portugal is a organized by SPEA, LPN, ATN, CEAI, Quercus and ICNF.

- When: 6-14 Jan 2018
- Where: mainland Portugal 

Contacts
- Distrito de Beja (incluindo ZPE Castro Verde): a/C Hugo Lousa (LPN) | lpn.cea-castroverde@lpn.pt 
- Outros distritos: a/C Rui Machado (SPEA) | rui.machado@spea.pt; 919 466 574


Photo: Red kite © Joaquim Antunes


  • Field work

Impact of Powerlines on Birds | Weekly field work

- Contacts: Rui Machado (rui.machado[arroba]spea.pt)


Life Berlengas | Work camps

More info: www.berlengas.eu | 

Registrations: if you wish to participate contact nuno.oliveira[arroba]spea.pt. 


Campaign "Salve uma ave marinha" 
Patrols to find lost juvenile seabirds (usually affected by artificial light), and release in a proper location.  

- When: Oct and Nov 
- Where: Madeira archipelago

Contacts
Check out the project blog here
  • Past actions
Census and reproductive biology of Fura-bardos 
Life Rupis | Work camp for Construction of Vultures Feeding Stations
III Atlas of Priolo





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