COASST beached bird participants conduct monthly surveys to systematically count and identify bird carcasses that wash ashore along ocean beaches from northern California to Alaska. As part of their involvement, participants learn about marine conservation and how to identify beached birds using the COASST Beached Birds field guide.
A COASST Beached Bird survey is definitely a commitment! Once you get to your beach, plan on 2-5 hours, with the total amount of time variable depending on the width of your beach, the length of your beach section (usually about 3/4 mile), the number of surveyors, the weather, and – of course – how many birds you find.
The entire beach area is searched for beached birds, from the surfline up to the live vegetation. You and any partner(s) will space yourselves out to cover as much ground as possible, and walk in a slow S-shaped pattern down the beach, looking right and left for beached birds.
Once found, documenting, identifying and photographing a bird might take 10–20 minutes.
Scheduling your surveys is up to you. We ask that you survey once a month, aiming for the same week each time.