|BES Bird Monitoring Project: Birds in Everyday Baltimore|
A distinguishing feature of the bird monitoring at BES LTER, relative to other urban bird work, is the capacity for long-term monitoring of features at multiple scales through links to other parts of the project. Different processes influence habitat for birds at different scales, e.g. ongoing household-level human decision-making at lot scale vs. decisions made by residents and or planners at block or neighborhood scales. Our project seeks to understand how these processes impact bird occurrence, abundance, and composition.
We monitor birds on a subset of the network of Urban Forest Effect Model (UFORE) survey points that were established in Baltimore at the start of the BES project. The 200 UFORE points in Baltimore City are stratified by land use. Because we are interested in residential areas and decision making at lot, block, and neighborhood scales we count birds on 132 UFORE points in and around residential neighborhoods in Baltimore City that are stratified by by both land use and by their location in residential census tract block groups.
In 2012 we worked with volunteers to collect data on birds during the winter season. We plan to expand our monitoring efforts in the winter season and look forward to involving volunteers from the Baltimore birding community.
|Pilot Study (2002) – The First Part of Our Project|
We conducted a pilot study employed a grid with 500m spacing. We surveyed 50 randomly selected points from the grid. In addition, we surveyed birds in 50 small parks, stratified using PRIZM classification of the surrounding census block groups. From analysis of these data, we determined the abundance and distribution of 46 bird species.
|Urban Bird Communities and Their Habitat Associations:|
We also identified key urban bird communities and their habitat associations.
The analysis from the pilot study suggested three main factors associated with bird communities in Baltimore: land use, ratio of built structure to tree cover, and socioeconomic indicators. We based the long-term monitoring study design on the findings from our pilot study.
|Publications from Pilot Study:|
Nilon, C. H., P.S. Warren, and J. Wolf. 2009. Baltimore Birdscape Study: Identifying habitat and land-Cover variables for an urban bird-monitoring project. Urban Habitats 6. http://www.urbanhabitats.org/v06n01/baltimore_full.html
Pickett, S.T.A., M.L. Cadenasso, J. M. Grove, P.M. Groffman, L.E. Band, C.G. Boone, W.R. Burch Jr., C.S.B. Grimmond, J. Hom, J.C. Jenkins, N.L. Law, C.H. Nilon, R.V. Pouyat, K. Szlavecz, P.S. Warren, and M.A. Wilson. 2008. Beyond urban legends: An emerging framework of urban ecology, as illustrated by the Baltimore Ecosystem Study. BioScience 52:1-12.
For More Information on the BES Bird Monitoring Project or to Volunteer Contact:
Department of Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences
302 Anheuser-Busch Natural Resources Building
University of Missouri
Columbia, MO 65211-7240