Since 1997, volunteers have helped Forest Preserve District of DuPage County ecologists assess populations of breeding songbirds and update species lists. Recent analyses have shown increased populations of the blue-gray gnatcatcher (Polioptila caerulea), field sparrow (Spizella pusilla), bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus), eastern towhee (Pipilo erythrophthalmus) and Henslow’s sparrow (Ammodramus henslowii). The program provides important statistics on population trends, which the nationwide Bird Monitoring Network integrates into regionwide data. The District also uses the information to develop natural-resource-management plans to improve related habitats.
Volunteers also annually collect eastern bluebird nesting data in order to help District ecologists determine nesting success rates, population trends and the overall success of local populations.