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Twenty Years of Bird Monitoring and Habitat Management at Springbrook Prairie Joe Suchecki Site Steward.

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Presentation on theme: "Twenty Years of Bird Monitoring and Habitat Management at Springbrook Prairie Joe Suchecki Site Steward."— Presentation transcript:

1 Twenty Years of Bird Monitoring and Habitat Management at Springbrook Prairie Joe Suchecki Site Steward

2 Why Monitor Birds  Obtain basic information on what birds are on a site  Identify key areas or habitats for protection  Monitor population trends  Determine habitat preferences  Observe changes in response to management

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4 Why Monitor Birds  Obtain basic information on what birds are on a site  Identify key areas or habitats for protection  Monitor population trends  Determine habitat preferences  Observe changes in response to management  Evaluate Initial Conclusions

5 Springbrook Prairie

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8 Grassland Birds  High Grassland Bird Populations  Nesting Short-eared Owl, Northern Harrier, Upland Sandpiper, Henslow’s Sparrow  Complete Suite of Grassland Birds –Sedge Wren, Grasshopper and Savannah Sparrow, Dickcissel, Bobolink, Eastern Meadowlark –Ring-necked Pheasant, Song Sparrow, Common Yellowthroat, Red-winged Blackbird –Clay-colored Sparrow

9 Bird Monitoring  21 Point Counts –Same Location –Same Observer –Consistent Method/Times  4 Transects 1980’s-2014 –Early scattered data –Different Observers  Walking Around – Weekly birding

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11 Three Topics Today  Changes in Grassland Bird Populations at Springbrook Prairie over 20 years  How has site management and restoration affected grassland birds  Review validity of initial conclusions regarding birds, habitats, and restoration

12 Grassland Birds  True Grassland Species  Sedge wren  Dickcissel  Savannah Sparrow  Grasshopper Sparrow  Henslow’s Sparrow  Bobolink  Eastern Meadowlark  Others  Red-winged Blackbird  Common Yellowthroat  Song Sparrow  Field Sparrow  Ring-necked Pheasant

13 Overall Grassland Bird Populations  Transects can supply an indication of overall population changes at Springbrook –Cover large areas –Samples most habitats –Provides Information on most species  Combined data from all four transects from used for the following results.

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15 Springbrook Bobolinks

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17 Springbrook Sedge Wrens

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19 Springbrook Henslow’s Sparrows

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21 Springbrook Savannah Sparrows

22 Springbrook Grasshopper Sparrows

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24 Springbrook Red-winged Blackbirds

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26 Springbrook Common Yellowthroat

27 Grassland Bird Trends  SPRINGBROOK  Eastern Meadowlark +4%  Red-winged Blackbird +35%  Bobolink +57%  CommonYellowthroat +263%  Sedge Wren +333%  Henslow’s Sparrow +1600%  Savannah Sparrow -9%  Ring-necked Pheasant -63%  Grasshopper Sparrow -96%  AUDUBON NATIONAL DATA  -71%  -21%  -51%  -149%  +88%  -96%  +8%  -51%  -65%

28 Point Count Data  Point counts provide Information on bird populations at certain areas or habitats  At Springbrook, 21 points representing different habitats and vegetation – 15 sample grassland  Three replicates at each point in June  Five-minute census time  All completed between 0445 and 0700

29 Initial Conclusions  Bird Populations Show High Annual Variation  Non-Native Grasslands Provide Good Nesting Habitat  Bird Densities Higher in Non-Native Habitat  Tree and Brush Removal Improves Grassland Bird Habitat  Restorations Dominated by Native Tallgrass Do Not Provide Suitable Habitat  Grassland Birds Decrease as Sites Restored  Short Grass Restoration May be More Successful

30 Bird Monitoring Results  Bird Populations Show High Annual Variations  Confirmed

31 Annual Variation in Bobolinks

32 Bird Monitoring Results  Non-Native Grasslands Provide Good Nesting Habitat  Confirmed

33 A-1 Birds

34 A-1 Birds 1997 and 2014

35 Point A-1

36 Bird Monitoring Results  Bird Densities Higher on Non-Native Habitat  Busted

37 Non-Native and Restored Sites

38 Springbrook Grassland Birds Diversity and Density 2012 – 2014 Point Counts E2 E3 SB2 W3 A2 W4 F1 E1 N1 A1 SB1 W2 F2 W1 N2 Number of Species Density (Birds/Point) Non-Native Restored

39 Bird Monitoring Results  Short Grass Restoration May be More Successful  Confirmed

40 Fescue Field and Short Grass Restoration

41 Birds Increasing at Short Grass Restoration Site

42 Point N-1

43 Bird Monitoring Results  Restorations Dominated by Native Tallgrasses Do Not Provide Suitable Habitat  Grassland Birds Decrease as Sites Restored  Partially Busted

44 Tallgrass Restoration Site

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46 Springbrook Grassland Birds Changes in Point Counts 1999 – W3 W4 N2 F1 N1 W1 W3 W1 N2 N1 Number of Species Density (Birds/Point) 1999 Restored 2014 Restored

47 Changes to Restored Points  Improved Habitats  N1,W1 – Shrub Removal, Short-grass restoration  N2 - Shrub, Tree Removal, Stream Restoration  F1- Shrub Removal, Increased Plant Diversity  Declining Habitats  W3,W4 – Increasingly Forb Dominated, Grass Decline

48 Springbrook Grassland Birds Changes in Point Counts 1999 – E2 SB2 W2 SB1 E3 SB2 A2 E1 A1 E1 E3 SB1 F2 W2 F2 Number of Species Density (Birds/Point) 1999 Non-Native 2014 Non-Native

49 Changes to Non-native Points  Improved Habitats  E1 – Treelines Removed  F2- Shrubs Removed  SB1, SB2 – Trees Removed, Stream Restoration  W2 – Grasses More Dominant Now  Declining Habitats  A1- Chance ? 1 Species Absent  A2 – Main Trail, Dog Field, Human Disturbance  E3 – Shrub/Tree Invasion

50 Bird Monitoring Results  Tree and Brush Removal Improves Grassland Bird Habitat  Confirmed

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54 How to Get More Bobolinks

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56 Final Thoughts  Monitoring Provides Valuable Information  Let the Birds Tell You What is Best  Create Treeless, Grass-Dominated Fields of Short Stature

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