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ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

Counting birds for BirdTrack (1 Viewer)

thegoon

Active member
Hi all

Historically when birding, I always enter the species I see and upload them to BirdTrack. However, I only ever mark a species as present, rather than entering the number seen. In the main, this is because I've never really been sure how to apply counts.

For example, I could walk along a waterway and see a Little Egret. 15 minutes later, some 300 yards further along, another is spotted. Is that now 2, even if there was a chance it was the same bird that had moved? Or should we only count the number seen in one spot? The same would apply to, say, a flock of finches that move some distances. If you don't see them move, do you assume a new flock, or the existing flock?

I know the data is more useful with counts, so would like to add them.

Cheers
 

Mark Lew1s

My real name is Mark Lewis
There are no hard and fast rules about counting things - so the fact that you haven't seen a flock move doesn't necessarily mean you count them as new. Likewise - the pretty small chance that your two egrets are the same doesn't necessarily mean they have to be counted as the same.

Really, it's your call. You'll have to decide in each case whether you think the birds are different or not. In your first example I'd be considering how likely the egret was to have moved along the waterway without me noticing it, and in the second, the same would apply but I'd also be considering things like the size of the flock.

Just do what you can, or are comfortable with. Your counts will only include the birds that are detectable by you in any case - they are not definitive counts of exactly what is present, so although it is rewarding (and useful) to count things as well as possible, don't sweat the possibility that you have under or over counted. For me, it's a big part of monitoring the bird life on my local patch, so whatever counts you come up with, enjoy making them.
 

thegoon

Active member
There are no hard and fast rules about counting things - so the fact that you haven't seen a flock move doesn't necessarily mean you count them as new. Likewise - the pretty small chance that your two egrets are the same doesn't necessarily mean they have to be counted as the same.

Really, it's your call. You'll have to decide in each case whether you think the birds are different or not. In your first example I'd be considering how likely the egret was to have moved along the waterway without me noticing it, and in the second, the same would apply but I'd also be considering things like the size of the flock.

Just do what you can, or are comfortable with. Your counts will only include the birds that are detectable by you in any case - they are not definitive counts of exactly what is present, so although it is rewarding (and useful) to count things as well as possible, don't sweat the possibility that you have under or over counted. For me, it's a big part of monitoring the bird life on my local patch, so whatever counts you come up with, enjoy making them.
I appreciate the reply, Mark. Thanks for the useful info. (y)
 
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia

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