Hundreds of songbird species thrive in and depend on Yosemite’s meadows. A well-established park-based research program provides vital information about how factors such as drought and wildfire affect songbirds, which are key indicators of ecosystem health.

Yosemite’s songbird stations have operated continuously since 1990, thanks, in large part, to Conservancy donors. In 2017, researchers and interns working at six stations, including a newly opened site in Ackerson Meadow, collected data on more than 2,000 individual birds representing 65 different species. As part of their field work, they placed tiny backpack-style GPS tags on several black-headed grosbeaks, furthering an ongoing effort to study the migration patterns and life cycle of a fascinating bird species that breeds in the park. When not collecting data, the songbird crew helped engaged the public in songbird science through bird-banding demonstrations and educational outreach.

Your gift helped scientists inspire new wildlife stewards and collect valuable data that helps protect Yosemite’s vibrant songbirds. Curious about Yosemite’s feathered residents? Read our blog post about songbird science, and watch the Yosemite Nature Notes “Birdsongs” episode:

Completed in partnership with Yosemite National Park, Institute for Bird Populations and Student Conservation Association.

Sarah Stock

Wildlife Biologist, Yosemite National Park

Project Notes

The joy of holding a songbird in your hand,€” to feel its heartbeat, sense the warmth of its body and really see it up close,€” inspires a career-long commitment to environmental conservation.