DEC seeks help surveying birds

The state Department of Environmental Conservation is asking for the public’s help with its annual summer turkey and ring-necked pheasant surveys.

“Citizen science efforts such as these provide our wildlife managers with invaluable data and give people the opportunity to partner with DEC to help monitor state wildlife resources,” DEC Commissioner Joe Martens said in a press release. “I encourage residents to take the time to record their observations of turkeys or pheasants while exploring the forests and fields around their home or driving through New York’s beautiful landscapes this summer.”

The DEC conducts the summer turkey surveys to estimate the number of young turkey born per hen each year. Weather, predation and habitat conditions during the breeding and brood-rearing seasons can all significantly impact nest success, hen survival, and survival on young birds, according to the DEC.

Doing this field work allows the DEC to gauge reproductive success and predict fall harvest potential.

During the month of August, survey participants are asked to record the sex and age composition of all flocks of wild turkeys they observe during their normal travel routine.

Individuals interested in participating can download a Summer Wild Turkey Sighting Survey form from the DEC website at

Detailed instructions can be found with the data sheet. Survey cards can also be obtained by contacting your regional DEC office, by calling 518-402-8886, or by e-mailing (type “Turkey Survey” in the subject line).