Truckee River Bird Monitoring
Birds of the Truckee River have been monitored for a long time - really since 1868, when Robert Ridgway and the young age of 16 years visited the Big Bend area as part of the Clarence King expedition. As the expedition's ornithologist, he identified over 120 species in just three weeks of riding along the shores of the Truckee River. Since then, much has changed in the river landscape due to expanding urban areas and agricultural activities. GBBO has monitored riparian birds of the Truckee River almost every year since 1998, and has documented the recovery of many species after mid-20th century losses. This recovery is mostly due to massive habitat restoration efforts, most notably the recovery of instream flows that benefit the ecological systems associated with the floodplain and, of course, the major river channel and wetland restoration projects that have occurred since then. One example of a successful riparian restoration project in The Nature Conservancy's McCarran Ranch Preserve, for which GBBO created a seasonal bird checklist based on 10 years of bird research conducted as part of the restoration project.