Birding in British Columbia

A starting place for birding information for British Columbia, Canada. This web site features a birders discussion forum, links to birding newsgroups, articles and book reviews, checklists, regional hotspots, photo gallery, weather reports, and visiting birder information.
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 Post subject: Survey Methods
PostPosted: Mar 04 5:42 pm 
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Joined: Jan 26 8:47 pm
Posts: 52
I do a personal American Robin count in my neighbourhood. I am wondering what techniques I could use to count robins(and other species). Today I walked down one of my survey sites on both sides of the road and in my results page I had to only include the individuals on one side of the road, fearing I would be counting some robins twice.
Wesley
Campbell River


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 Post subject: Re: Survey Methods
PostPosted: Mar 04 7:58 pm 
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Joined: Mar 28 12:28 pm
Posts: 385
Location: Vancouver
When I do surveys of a fixed spot, I'll only count the highest number of individuals I see at one time. That way, if two robins show up, both leave, and one comes back, I'll have an accurate number and avoid double-counting.
When doing counts of a larger area (such as the coastal waterbird surveys), then I'll chose a path and count all the birds as I pass them. I'll count birds that fly from in front of me back to where I've already counted, but not birds flying from behind me into the survey area, because I might have counted them already, or will count them when I pass them later on. I also avoid walking back to areas I already counted.
For your robin surveys, you could try counting both side of the road at the same time while walking, or doing them separately and just taking the higher number.

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Else Mikkelsen, Vancouver
Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/66959995@N05/


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 Post subject: Re: Survey Methods
PostPosted: Mar 05 8:32 am 
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Joined: Dec 08 7:11 am
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With experience, you will become accutely aware of what has and has not been counted. Typically, birds counted individually are vastly undercounted, and birds counted in flocks are more often over counted. The "counting the same bird twice" idea is a bit of a myth with experienced counters.

Guy L. Monty
Nanoose Bay, Vancouver Island, BC


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 Post subject: Re: Survey Methods
PostPosted: Mar 16 12:09 am 
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Joined: Oct 27 11:29 am
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As Guy says, the process becomes intuitive and the way I've been terming it lately is that it all comes out in the wash. In other words, whether you double count a bunch, you're almost certainly missing more individuals.

Regardless of your method, I'm sure if you are consistent with your methods that you'll be able to determine the general trend of your local robins.

Good luck,
Jeremy Gatten
Saanichton, B.C.


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