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Winter Bird Population Study (WBPS) in an Urban Habitat at Rockingham, North Carolina: Methodological Considerations

Douglas B. McNair*

*35 Rowell Road, Wellfleet, MA 026672.

Southeastern Naturalist, Volume 21, Issue 2 (2022): 116–124

Winter Bird Population Studies (WBPS) were initiated in 1948. The recommended minimum number of surveys for WBPS plots has been 8, but examination of the influence of the number of surveys on counts of individual species on WBPS plots has been restricted to only a few types of forested habitats in eastern North America. This study documents that 10 surveys, not 8, were required to produce stable mean counts of most common and some uncommon species on a WBPS plot in an open to semi-open, urban habitat (central business district of Rockingham, NC). However, more studies are needed to produce stronger inferences about the minimum number of surveys required for counts of individual species on WBPS plots in other urban and non-urban habitat types. Until our knowledge is refined, observers should strongly consider conducting a minimum of 10 surveys on WBPS plots in urban habitat types.

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