Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife

Dataset credit



Primary contact Joe Evenson Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife
Secondary contact Don Kraege Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife
Data entry Ei Fujioka Duke University



The metadata edits are in progress. Please contact the contact person for detail.

Aerial surveys of marine birds have been conducted annually since 1992 by the Puget Sound Ambient Monitoring Program (PSAMP) staff during both a summer (July) and a winter (December to early February) survey window, sampling some part of every portion of the marine shoreline of the inner marine waters of Washington state by two strata: nearshore (< 20 meters in depth) and offshore (> 20 meters in depth).

The datasets are split by season (summer or winter) and year.


The purpose of this program is to monitor population trends of either summer or winter resident species rather than migrations around Puget Sound.

Supplemental information

Data correction Aug 27, 2023:
Wrong ITIS number for Unidentified Phalarope
176736 -> 176733

Data correction Mar 17, 2006:
Wrong ITIS number for Unidentified Sea Lion
180623 -> 180615

Data correction Mar 14, 2006:
Wrong ITIS number for Unidentified [Large|Small] Gulls
180297 -> 176802

The nearshore strata were sampled in two fashions:
1)in nearshore habitat that was relatively narrow, the plane flew parallel to the shoreline generally 100 meters from the high tide line;
2)in nearshore habitat with broad extensive shallow areas such as river estuaries, the plane flew in an S-pattern to sample a larger proportion of the habitat available in that locality. The offshore strata were sampled in a crisscross pattern that zigzagged back and forth across depth contours, with an attempt made to cut across most all banks and similar major underwater bathymetric features. There was no attempt made to survey during the same tidal stage in these areas.

The survey always began in the southernmost study areas and proceeded to the northern portions; therefore the same areas were usually sampled during the same time of month each year, give or take a week. The last two summer surveys (1997-98) did not include the southern and central portions of Puget Sound, due to budget cuts. These areas were chosen to be continued on a less frequent basis because low and consistent numbers of birds were seen there during the July survey window in the previous five summer surveys.

Effort data is provided in separate files.




This section explains attributes included in the original dataset. OBIS-SEAMAP restricts the attributes available to the public to date/time, lat/lon and species names/counts only. Should you need other attributes described here, you are encouraged to contact the data provider.

Attributes described below represent those in the original dataset provided by the provider.
Only minimum required attributes are visible and downloadable online. Other attributes may be obtained upon provider's permission.

Attributes in dataset

Attribute (table column)Description
surveySurvey ID
linenoLine No
dateDate of the observation
latitudeLatitude in decimal degrees
longitudeLongitude in decimal degrees
trip_numbTrip number
line_numbLine number
cloud_covrCloud cover
wind_knotsWind in knots
wind_dirWind direction
beaufortBeaufort Sea state
swell_htSwell height
swell_dirswell direction
timeTime of the observation (local time)
on_offOn off effort
spcodeSpecies code
speciesSpecies name
species_tsnITIS Taxonomic Serial Number added by OBIS-SEAMAP
scientificScientific name
groupTaxonomic group
herdsizeGroup size
behaviorBehavior code
birddirBird direction
sight_anglSighting angle
dec_latLatitude in original format
dec_longLontidue in original format
comment1Comments 1
comment2Comments 2
comment3Comments 3
geomGeometry field added by OBIS-SEAMAP
oidUnique ID number (generated by OBIS-SEAMAP)
Marine mammals361
Sea turtles0
Rays and sharks0
Other species22,431
Non spatial0
Non species10
Date, Begin1997-12-17
Date, End1998-02-19
Temporal prec.111111
Latitude47.05 - 49.01
Longitude-124.68 - -122.20
Coord. prec.4 decimal digits
Data typeAnimal sighting
EffortYES (ID: 265)
Traveled (km)6,729
Effort hours0
Contr. through
Sharing policy CC-BY-NC (Minimum)
Shared with OBIS
GBIF (via DOI)
See metadata in static HTML
See metadata in FGDC XML
See download history / statistics