1 Tahrcountry Musings: A new method for counting woodland birds.

Friday, September 30, 2011

A new method for counting woodland birds.

Researchers from the Burgate-based Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust and the British Trust for Ornithology have developed a new method for counting woodland birds.  Dr Rufus Sage spearheaded the study. The new method provides conservationists with a rapid means of assessing whether habitat changes are affecting bird populations. It is a very efficient method of assessing breeding success in common woodland birds.

With the new method we get a much better insight into the processes that affect breeding success in woodland birds.

Current methods adopted are nest monitoring and mist-netting. This involves finding nests or catching live birds. Both require lot of man power. It is also expensive. On the downside it is not always successful. The new method overcomes the limitations and assesses the productivity of birds by counting fledglings in the field.
The researchers say the new method provided a sufficiently reliable estimate of fledging success based on just two or three visits per week between late May and the end of June and a surveyor can cover an area of about 10 to 15 ha in just two to three hours.

Details of the study is published in the on-line edition of the journal Bird Study

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