Breeding Bird Censuses: An Evaluation of Four Methods for use in Sclerophyll Forest

Four methods were used to census birds in forest and woodland near Bombala on on the Southern Tablelands of New South Wales. None was completely satisfactory, but a modified strip transect procedure provided repeatable estimates of the relative abundance of most species. The most accurate estimates of the abundance of individual species were obtained by combining territory mapping with colour banding of individuals and intensive searches for nests. Mist netting was necessary to colour band birds, but by itself was not particularly useful as a census procedure. Mist netting was also the most time consuming method used and required the greatest number of people. Mapping and nest searches were also time consuming, but could be done by one person. Transect counts took the least effort and can be regarded as the most efficient use of resources where an estimate of relative abundances is all that is required.

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