Statewide Survey

A major component of efforts to monitor trends in the distribution and abundance of tricolors is the Triennial Statewide Survey. The statewide survey was pioneered by Ted Beedy and Bill Hamilton in the 1980’s as a means to obtain an estimate of the number of tricolors throughout California. The statewide survey, which typically occurs over 3 days in mid-April, is a volunteer effort with participants from all over lower elevation regions of California and is directed by a statewide coordinator and implemented by county coordinators who are local experts that assemble the teams that conduct the survey.

The statewide survey occurs every 3 years and documents both presence and absence, along with an estimate of the number of tricolors and characteristics of occupied sites. The statewide survey provides current, reliable information on the numbers and distribution of tricolored blackbirds throughout California and a means to document trends in the population over time and complements more intensive field efforts that provide insights into the factors causing the recent severe population decline.