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Puget Sound Seabird Survey


About the Survey

The Puget Sound Seabird Survey (PSSS) is a community science survey created by Seattle Audubon in 2007 and continued by the Puget Sound Bird Observatory since 2022. This survey effort trains volunteer birdwatchers to gather valuable data on wintering seabird populations in Puget Sound, Strait of Juan de Fuca, and waters surrounding the San Juan Islands. 


Together, our teams capture a snapshot of seabird density on more than 5,400 acres of sheltered and open water and shoreline habitat. It is the only land-based, multi-month seabird survey in the Southern Salish Sea, and is providing valuable data for researchers, including essential population dynamic data and baseline densities and populations in the sound.

We are thrilled to share that Seattle Audubon is transitioning the future management of the PSSS to the Puget Sound Bird Observatory (PSBO) as of autumn 2022. The trust and partnership between these organizations means that the valuable long-term PSSS dataset will continue to grow into the future.

If you are interested in volunteering for the PSSS, please visit the PSSS contact section for more details.

A PSSS Transition:

What is the PSSS?

You! Beginning birders willing to commit to learning seabird identification, as well as intermediate and expert birders who are confident with their seabird ID skills can contribute to the data collection.

If you are interested in volunteering for the PSSS, please visit the PSSS contact section for more details.


All “seabird” species: geese, swans, diving and dabbling ducks, loons, grebes, cormorants, gulls, terns, murres, murrelets, Pigeon Guillemots, auklets and puffins. Because the presence of raptors can affect the distribution of seabirds, hawks, eagles and falcons are also recorded.


Surveys take place at 160 beaches and shorelines across the Puget Sound. Nearly all are located on publicly accessible saltwater shoreline.


All surveys are synchronized to take place during a four hour window (determined by the Puget Sound Bird Observatory based on the tides) on the first Saturday of the month, October through April. Each survey is 15-30 minutes in duration.


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