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North American Breeding Bird Survey  
Training: BBS Methodology - Point Counts [page 13/34]
What is an avian point count?
bird with youngPoint counts are one of several methods used to inventory and monitor bird populations. A point count is a tally of all birds detected by sight and sound by a single observer located at a fixed position during a specified period of time (i.e., 3 min.). Counts are usually conducted in the morning, typically during the breeding season when birds are most vocal and territorial. Counts must also be conducted under suitable weather conditions which typically means winds < 12 mph and no rain.

There are many variations to the point count methodology; however, for the purposes of our discussion we will be focusing on the point count method used by the North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) program. For more information on point counts in general and variations, the following web site provides a good starting point: Literature on Point Count Methods

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