Point Blue Conservation Science prbo
Sierra Nevada Avian
Monitoring Information Network


Point Blue's Sierra Nevada Avian Monitoring in Forest Fuels Treatments

Study Design and Field Methods

We conducted point counts using standardized methods (Ralph et al. 1995, Ballard et al. 2003) where a single observer estimates the distance to the location of each individual bird they detect within a five minute time span from a fixed location. Point counts were conducted during the spring/summer breeding season in early to mid-morning when weather conditions were mild. To minimize observer bias, we had different observers conduct surveys on each of the two visits per year, and all biologists were thoroughly trained in survey techniques and bird identification.

These sites occur in the Lassen and Plumas National Forests within the boundaries of the Herger-Feinstein Quincy Library Group Forest Recovery Act Pilot Project (HFQLG). Survey locations were targeted on treated and untreated areas within the HFQLG boundary using planning documents provided by the USFS. Stratifications limited the survey locations to areas bounded by slope, distance to roads, and other factors that limit the accessibility of field sites. Point count locations are arranged in transects that typically follow a linear path with starting and ending points near navigable roads. Survey sites ranged in elevation from 900m to 1900 meters within the mixed conifer, true fir, and yellow pine zones.

See the following reports and literature for more information on study design, methods, results, and conclusions:

Location of of PRBO's fuel treatment avian monitoring study sites in the Lassen National Forest. Black dots are point count stations and the Lassen National Forest is the area in green.