Point Blue Conservation Science prbo
Sierra Nevada Avian
Monitoring Information Network


Point Blue's Sierra Nevada Avian Monitoring in Meadows

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.

Sites were within the boundaries of the Lassen and Plumas National Forests though a number of sites occurred on non-Forest Service land. We used USFS forest inventory data in a GIS framework to identify areas with meadow habitat that represented a range of elevations and habitat conditions, but represent some of the higher quality riparian meadow bird habitat in the area. We targeted areas that could support riparian deciduous shrubs (willows/alders) and that had recently undergone management changes (e.g. active restoration and/or removal of grazing). Sites ranged in elevation from 1200 - 2000 meters. Point count stations were a minimum of 50 meters from meadow edges where feasible, and in most cases within 50 meters of stream channel. Sites selected in 2000 and 2001 were spaced as close as 150m apart but were generally more than 200m apart. Points at sites added in 2002 or later are 200 - 250 meters apart and were configured in a manner that maximized spatial coverage of sites.

See the following reports and literature for more information on study design, methods, results, and conclusions:
2009 Meadow Monitoring Report