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Bird Monitoring Home - Participating

To access publications on survey methods, blank datasheets, and a list of official bird names

Select Publication for Downloading\Viewing:

Survey Descriptions:

Following are descriptions of three types of methods to survey birds: point count surveys, transect surveys, and Florida LAKEWATCH surveys. The idea behind each survey method is to assure that each person surveys birds in exactly the same manner. This way, results can be readily compared and are not biased in some way. For example, if one person surveyed birds for 10 minutes and another person surveyed for 50 minutes, it would be unfair to compare the results of these two surveys. Teachers! Click here for a publication about incorporating this bird-monitoring program into your classroom teaching!

A point count survey is a survey performed standing in one spot. It is a simple method that provides a uniform way of counting birds over time or across locations. Point counts are usually used to survey backyards or small lots. However, they are frequently used in large areas where it is difficult for a person to walk through.

A transect survey is a walking survey where you walk a route and count birds on either side of the route. A transect survey is not practical if it is difficult to walk through an area or the area of interest is small. Transect surveys are frequently used to survey birds in a neighborhood or in a large area where it is easy to walk through (such as a park or golf course).

Florida LAKEWATCH surveys are associated with the Project LAKEWATCH program and typically are bird surveys done from a boat that circles a lake.

How to get involved:

If interested in surveying birds, you can print the survey descriptions and blank data sheets (for recording birds) by selecting from the menu at the top of this page. You can begin surveying birds right away. However, to enter survey data through this web site you must obtain a User ID and Site code.

To obtain a User ID and Site code, please email Dr. Mark Hostetler.

Send him the following information:

1. whether you are connected with an Extension program, a school, a private or public organization, or on your own.
2. your home address
3. the county in which your surveys will occur
4. your phone number
5. your e-mail address
6. whether you would like to do a point count or a transect
7. a brief description of the property or area that you plan to survey

Dr. Hostetler will send you a User ID and Site code via email. If you would like to reach him by phone, call 352-846-0568.


What was that bird?!

For help identifying Florida birds, visit the following web sites:
Florida Museum of Natural History Birds of the Southeastern U.S.
Patuxent Bird Identification InfoCenter