Current Ornithology

pp 247-302

Assessment of Counting Techniques

  • Jared VernerAffiliated withForestry Sciences Laboratory

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Counts of birds are used for many purposes in a variety of field studies. Simple presence-or-absence information suffices to study avian biogeography, but indices of abundance are needed to track the changing mix of species’ populations associated with plant succession. Still other studies, as of trophic dynamics, require knowledge of population densities. This chapter critically assesses the suitability of various counting methods for each of these purposes. It is not a thorough review of the topic. These have been provided already by Kendeigh (1944), Blondel (1969), Berthold (1976), and Dawson and Verner (in preparation); Robbins (1978) and Shields (1979) should also be consulted, although the scope of their reviews was less extensive.