We conducted point counts using standardized methods (Ralph et al. 1995, Ballard et al. 2003) where a single observer estimates
the distance to the location of each individual bird they detect within a five minute time span from a fixed location. Point counts
were conducted during the spring/summer breeding season in early to mid-morning when weather conditions were mild. To minimize
observer bias, we had different observers conduct surveys on each of the two visits per year, and all biologists were thoroughly
trained in survey techniques and bird identification.
Sites were within the boundaries of the Lassen and Plumas National Forests though a number of sites occurred on non-Forest
Service land. We used USFS forest inventory data in a GIS framework to identify areas with meadow habitat that represented a range
of elevations and habitat conditions, but represent some of the higher quality riparian meadow bird habitat in the area. We targeted
areas that could support riparian deciduous shrubs (willows/alders) and that had recently undergone management changes (e.g. active
restoration and/or removal of grazing). Sites ranged in elevation from 1200 - 2000 meters. Point count stations were a minimum of
50 meters from meadow edges where feasible, and in most cases within 50 meters of stream channel. Sites selected in 2000 and 2001
were spaced as close as 150m apart but were generally more than 200m apart. Points at sites added in 2002 or later are 200 - 250
meters apart and were configured in a manner that maximized spatial coverage of sites.
See the following reports and literature for more information on study design, methods, results, and conclusions:
2009 Meadow Monitoring Report
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