Landbird Monitoring

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Mountain bluebird standing on a tree stump with its head turned to the side
Mountain bluebird

© Terry Sohl


Landbirds are of high interest to park managers because of the ecological, aesthetic, and recreational value they provide to the park. A species-rich group, landbirds can reflect changes in habitat structure, climate, food supply, nest predation, and landscape characteristics. In addition, Northern Great Plains Network parks can serve as reference sites for helping interpret regional trends in abundance for species of concern and other birds. Of the 100 landbird species in Canada and the U.S. on the Partners in Flight Watch List, about one third occur in Northern Great Plains Network parks. These species are included in the Watch List because of threats to their habitat, declining populations, small population size, or limited distributions.

In 2013, the Northern Great Plains, the Southern Plains, the Chihuahuan Desert, and the Sonoran Desert Inventory and Monitoring Networks developed a joint landbird monitoring protocol in collaboration with the Bird Conservancy of the Rockies (formerly Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory).

Monitoring Objectives

  • Estimate the proportion of sites occupied (occupancy estimates) for most breeding bird species at most of the Network parks.
  • Determine changes over time in community dynamics such as species richness and avian composition.
  • Estimate changes in the density when feasible for the most common breeding landbirds at most of the Network parks.
  • Incorporate changes in land cover, vegetation and associated parameters into the assessment of bird population trends.

Monitoring Documents

Read more about landbird monitoring in the resource briefs (short summaries), monitoring reports (detailed results), and protocols (monitoring procedures) below.

Resource Briefs

Source: Data Store Saved Search 2374. To search for additional information, visit the Data Store.

Monitoring Reports

Source: Data Store Saved Search 1196. To search for additional information, visit the Data Store.

Protocol Documents

Source: Data Store Saved Search 1195. To search for additional information, visit the Data Store.

For More Information


Kara Paintner

Last updated: May 19, 2020