top of page

For nearly 60 years, LCBAS has been a driving force behind numerous bird habitat conservation, restoration and building projects, and community science birding studies. Many were brought to completion such as the Sagebrush Songbird Surveys, while some are ongoing as is the Leslie Groves Park North Native Plant Restoration. Contact LCBAS for more information about getting involved!

Leslie Groves Park North

July 2022 - view north from the west fence

Native Plant Restoration

​Restoring native vegetation to the north end of Richland's Leslie Groves Park is a project that began in 2006 with the approval of the Richland Parks Department. The goal was to re-establish habitat that could be enjoyed and used to educate the public about our indigenous plants and to share their beauty. The Leslie Groves North group is affiliated with the Washington Native Plant Society (Columbia Basin Chapter) and the Lower Columbia Basin Audubon Society whose members have been a major part of this effort.


Our focus has been on the southernmost 1½ acres, just north of Snyder St. between the multi-use path and Harris Ave.

Red-breasted Nuthatch by LUmthun
Red-breasted Nuthatch2.jpg

Red-breasted Nutchatch - Larry Umthun

Red-breasted Nuthatch Surveys

Climate Watch: National Audubon Community Science Project

  • ​In January 2016, Climate Watch was initiated by National Audubon to gather data on specific bird species to study how birds in North America are responding to climate change. In this ongoing project, LCBAS chose the Red-breasted Nuthatch (RBNU) as its target species.

  • From a predetermined grid map, nine 10km x 10km squares were selected within the Mid-Columbia Basin for point count studies. Twice a year, winter (Jan/Feb) and spring (May/June), birding teams choose one day to conduct twelve 5-minute point counts for RBNU within each map square. LCBAS is committed to continuing the surveys for the duration of the project. Interested in participating? Contact LCBAS here.

  • An initial report on the project was published in October 2019.


  • "Climate Watch volunteers have confirmed the accuracy of Audubon's climate projections, which show that two-thirds of North American birds are at risk of extinction by the end of this century." Brook Bateman, PhD, Audubon senior climate scientist and lead author of Survival by Degrees: 389 Bird Species on the Brink.

Sagebrush Sparrow by LUmthun

Sagebrush Sparrow - Larry Umthun

Sage Thrasher by LUmthun

Sage Thrasher - Larry Umthun

Brewer's Sparrow by LUmthun

Brewer's Sparrow - Larry Umthun

Sagebrush Songbird Surveys

Community Science At Its Best!

  • In spring of 2014, LCBAS and Washington State Audubon, along with Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, launched a conservation program focused on the shrub-steppe ecosystem and its bird life.

  • LCBAS was instrumental in organizing the training, protocols and site selections for the bird surveys conducted for the program. Many bird species are dependent upon (obligate) to the sagebrush shrub-steppe habitat for survival.

  • Sagebrush Sparrow, Sage Thrasher and Brewer’s Sparrow were selected as the initial species for study.

  • Over the next four years, through the 2019 breeding season, the program expanded into eastern Washington and involved other Audubon chapters. Point counts were conducted on specific sites and the data gathered was used to validate the Western Governors Association Crucial Habitat Assessment Tool distribution models for these species in Washington, as well as update WDFW Priority Habitat Species data base.

  • LCBAS and the these Sagebrush Songbird Surveys were recognized by National Audubon as an exemplary model of meaningful and broadly useful community science. The field work and data collected will affect multi-state land use, transportation projects, energy planning as well as large-scale conservation projects.

  • More information from Washington Audubon.

Rough-legged Hawk - Larry Umthun

Merlin - Larry Umthun

Winter Raptor Surveys

Community Science from East Cascades Audubon

  • Initiated and sponsored by East Cascades Audubon based in Bend, Linn Co, Oregon. Winter Raptor Surveys 

  • After three years of trial runs on routes in Oregon, the project was officially started in 2004-05 and currently has over 500 active routes in OR, WA, ID, CA, MT and UT.

  • Purpose of the survey is to count and record raptor distribution along the routes, including hawks, falcons, harrier, eagles, owls, osprey and kites.

  • Data sent to The Peregrine Fund to add to their raptor data base for research and population monitoring.

  • Survey routes occasionally become available within a reasonable distance from the Tri-Cities. Routes are typically 50-100 miles and must be completed in one day in good weather. 

  • Surveys conducted once per month Dec, Jan & Feb with the option to include Nov and Mar. 

  • Survey participants must be able to see and accurately identify all possible raptors on the route.

  • If no nearby routes are open, you could still participate by joining an existing survey team to help with their route.

  • For information and route availability, contact Jeff Fleischer

bottom of page