US Geological Survey


Date of this Version



Kellermann, J.!L., C.!A. F. Enquist, D.!L. Humple, N.!E. Seavy, A. Rosemartin, R.!L. Cormier, and L. Barnett. 2015. A bird’s- eye view of the USA National Phenology Network: an off-the-shelf monitoring program. Pp. 47–60 in E.!M. Wood and J.!L. Kellermann (editors), Phenological synchrony and bird migration: changing climate and seasonal resources in North America. Studies in Avian Biology (no. 47), CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL.


US gov't work


Phenology is central to the biology and ecology of organisms and highly sensitive to climate. Differential responses to climate change are impacting phenological synchrony of inter- acting species, which has been implicated in the decline of migratory birds that rely on seasonal resources. However, few studies explicitly measure phenology of seasonal habitat resources on the breeding and wintering grounds and at stopover sites. While avian monitoring methods are widely standardized, methods of monitoring resource phenology can be highly variable and difficult to integrate. The USA National Phenology Network (USA- NPN) has developed standardized plant and animal phenology protocols and a robust information management system to support a range of stakeholders in collecting, storing, and sharing phenology data, at the appropriate scale, to shed light on phenological synchrony. The USA-NPN’s Nature’s Notebook can be integrated into established research programs, ensuring that data will be comparable over time and across projects, taxa, regions, and research objectives. We use two case studies to illustrate the application of USA-NPN methods and protocols to established long- term landbird research programs. By integrating phenology into these programs, avian ecologists are increasing their ability to understand the magnitude and consequences of phenological responses to climate change.