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Seasonal Bird Surveys

Conducted  by Plateau’s experienced wildlife biologists with decades of combined birding experience. Spring Breeding and Wintering Resident Bird Surveys are ideal for landowners interested in inventorying and observing bird species that utilize their property.


Bird Surveys are a great opportunity for landowners to practice their birding skills and tour their property with a professional wildlife biologist while visiting a number of bird survey stations to detect birds either through visual or auditory observation.  Detailed reports  are produced with all species and numbers observed, brief habitat and location descriptions for each station.  Annual surveys can be analyzed over several years to show trends and improvements in species observed, indicating improved habitat through your efforts.

Spring Breeding Bird Survey:Painted Bunting

$550 + Mileage at $0.75 per mile from the nearest Plateau office

  • Conducted during peak breeding and migratory months (mid-March through late June)
  •  Begins at sunrise for the “dawn chorus” when birds begin their daily activity and vocalization
  • Allows landowners to monitor long-term trends of species composition and abundance
  • Broad diversity of species will be observed including a variety of neotropical migrants such as warblers, vireos, tanagers, buntings, and orioles
  • Observations are conducted for  a designated time per point following an established protocol of listening and observing

 Wintering Resident Bird Survey:

 $550 + Mileage at $0.75 per mile from the nearest Plateau office.

  • Conducted from mid-November until February
  • Birds observed during these surveys can include winter resident sparrows, kinglets, waterfowl, and an assortment of hawks and falcons
  • Observations are conducted for a designated time per point following an established protocol of listening and observing

 

Want to learn more about Bird Surveys? Check out our FAQs

Can I join the Wildlife Biologist on the Bird Survey? Yes, of course! Bird Surveys are a great opportunity for landowners to tour their land with an experienced wildlife biologist. It is a fantastic learning experience, not only to expand your knowledge of birds but also to learn more about your land.

Should I bring binoculars on the Bird Survey? It is not mandatory to bring binoculars, but it is recommended. There is always a chance to see a rare bird and you would be glad that you brought them.

Can Bird Surveys be performed in the afternoon? The Spring Breeding Bird Surveys must be performed in the morning in order to catch the “dawn chorus” when birds begin their daily activity and vocalization. Wintering Resident Bird Surveys provide a little more flexibility.

Will I see a lot of birds? Touring your property accompanied by an experienced wildlife biologist will help you to identify birds that are utilizing your property. However, during the Bird Surveys, most often than not, the survey will consist of more auditory identification than visual observation. Plateau’s birders will be able to identify the bird by the different sounds the bird is making.

Why is it important to perform a Bird Survey? Surveys, in general, provide landowners with pertinent information regarding both the positive and negative effects of management. Surveys provide a baseline from which management actions, with specific end goals, can be directed. Conducting Bird Surveys affords a complete inventory of the birds utilizing the area surveyed and can be used to infer population trends over time. Seasonal bird surveys (at least one survey per season) let Plateau’s biologists take a deeper look at the avian community and will improve your knowledge of the resident species on your property.

How are Bird Surveys conducted? Plateau bird surveys are considered point count surveys. A number of bird survey stations are established throughout a property. The number of stations  depends on several factors, including size of property, topography, habitat types, and interesting features such as large water sources, large fields, or anywhere that a greater diversity of species may be observed. Observations are made at the bird stations and  consist of 6-7 minutes of listening and observing per point. Point stations are permanently marked, GPS locations are taken, and marked on a map for future reference. A detailed report is produced displaying all species and numbers observed, as well as brief habitat and location descriptions for each station.

What’s the difference between a Spring Breeding Bird Survey and Wintering Resident Bird Survey? Since birds are not breeding or nesting during the winter months, they vocalize less and thus more difficult to detect without prompting using owl tapes or “pushing.” During the spring, auditory detection is the more common method of observing species – birds are breeding and defending nesting territories, so surveys are much noisier. Many songbirds migrate and will inhabit a property at particular times of the year.

Why is Plateau the best to conduct a Bird Survey? Plateau currently has 5 active wildlife biologists with decades of combined birding experience, capable of conducting bird surveys throughout our service regions. Bird surveys are one of our most popular services, of which we conduct more than 350 individual surveys each year, which include quality, comprehensive reports for easy documentation. Having Plateau conduct annual surveys allows us to build a picture of the avian community on your property over several years.

 

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