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Portland Water Bureau

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Avian Wildlife Survey at Powell Butte Nature Park, Park Users Reminded to be Cautious of Survey Markers

By Lindsay Wochnick

Powell Butte Nature Park in southeast Portland hosts miles of trails used daily by hikers, mountain bikers, and horseback riders.

The nature park also offers a home to an abundant wildlife population, including rabbits, ring-necked pheasants, ground squirrels, raccoons, gray foxes, skunks, bats, chipmunks, coyotes, black-tailed mule deer, and many different species of birds. 

This diverse wildlife flourishes in the park’s open meadows, groves of wild hawthorn trees, forested slopes of Western red cedar, and wetlands near Johnson Creek.

Maintaining and continuously improving habitat for birds and other wildlife within the nature park while making trails easily accessible to park users is of key importance for the Portland Parks & Recreation and the Water Bureau.

Pre-placed markersOne way park wildlife, specifically the bird population, is researched and monitored in the nature park is through avian or bird surveys. During field visits, volunteers trained by Portland Parks & Recreation collect information used to study: 

  • Relationships between birds and habitat
  • Seasonal migration
  • Breeding
  • Siting of a particular species
  • Effects of reducing non-native invasive plant species
  • Re-vegetation of native shrubs, trees, and grasses
  • Any changes in avian communities before and after reservoir construction and restoration efforts

Pre-placed wooden markers, such as the one to the right, help direct volunteers where to stand, observe, and count birds for the survey. The markers are located throughout the park, in the meadows, forested areas, and close to trail edges. 

The markers near the trail edge are in the process of being leveled with the ground for safety.

Reminder to Be Safe
Parks users are asked to leave the markers in their locations as they are integral to consistency for the Bird Study and other data collection throughout the year. Users are also asked to stay on the designated trail system for their safety and equine trail riders and mountain bikers encouraged to ride single file.

The Portland Water Bureau and Parks & Recreation appreciate the public’s help in preserving and protecting the nature parks and all its inhabitants.

Lindsay Wochnick
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