Rare and sensitive songbirds, such as Swainson’s thrush and yellow warbler, thrive in Yosemite’s diverse habitats, but they are vulnerable to environmental changes — both within Yosemite and beyond.

Yosemite’s songbird program has been operating continuously since 1990, thanks in large part to support from Conservancy donors. Information collected through this well established research effort helps scientists delve into the world of the park’s diverse resident and migratory songbird species, track changes in their populations and understand factors driving the decline of some species.

In 2015, park scientists gave more than 100 visitors a first-hand look at songbird conservation work through interactive demonstrations, and collected data on 1,872 different birds. One of the birds, a black-headed grosbeak, bore a tiny GPS tag from the previous field season, which yielded a fascinating glimpse into the migratory patterns of that species. This project also provided valuable opportunities for youth interns to gain experience in wildlife research and management while working alongside Yosemite’s expert biologists.

Your gifts helped support important research that is expanding scientists’ understanding of Yosemite’s diverse songbirds — and informing efforts to protect them for the future. 

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

Sarah Stock

Wildlife Biologist, Yosemite National Park

Project Notes

This legacy songbird program provides an outreach and management opportunity critical for understanding, restoring, and conserving Yosemite’s songbirds and the meadow habitats on which they depend, for future generations. Yosemite’s bird banding stations are some of the oldest in the country and have operated continuously since 1990, thanks in large part to Yosemite Conservancy.