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The Citizen Science League defines it this way: “Citizen Science is a data-gathering technique that allows anyone to volunteer their time in support of scientific research projects. Researchers have often depended on volunteer labor, but the Internet age has allowed projects to link up with a global network of assistants via home computers and smart phones. It’s a symbiotic relationship–volunteers are able to partake in the act of furthering human knowledge, while research projects have a way to curb costs while expanding their scope.” In the birding area, one of the biggest citizen science programs is ebird, where bird sightings can be entered into a now-large database run by Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society.

Members of Yosemite Area Audubon Society are involved in a number of Citizen Science programs. We heartily welcome any of our members or neighbors who are interested in participating to Contact Us and join in the fun!


In 2012, the Yosemite Area Audubon Society began a long-term program to build, install, and monitor nest boxes in Madera, Mariposa, and Merced counties. The boxes provide nesting cavities for American Kestrels,  Barn Owls, Wood Ducks, and other cavity-nesting songbirds.

Volunteers to help build and monitor the boxes are always welcome. Visit our main Nest Box Program page for more information.

Since 2007, members of YAAS have been active participants in a raptor surveys in the Central Valley area. On a regular schedule, in accordance with defined survey protocols, we follow prescribed routes and count the number of raptors and note the location, species, and sex of the birds.

Visit our Raptor Surveys page for more information about this program. .

Christmas Bird Counts are a census of all birds (all individuals and all species) found in a defined area on the count day. The count provides population data for use in research and conservation efforts.

Each year, YAAS conducts two local counts, in Oakhurst and Mariposa.

For more information about the Christmas Bird Count visit our CBC page, or National Audubon’s CBC page.

Specific dates for counts will be posted on our Calendar and our Field Trips/Events pages.

YAAS also participates in other surveys and projects, including annual Shorebird surveys in Merced County,  Breeding Bird surveys in Madera County, and surveys for Mountain Plovers and Tricolored Blackbirds.