Distribution and density of bird species hazardous to aircraft

Edited by:
Sidney A. Gauthreaux Jr.


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Only in the past 5 years has it become feasible to map the relative abundance of North American birds. Two programs presently under way and a third that is in the experimental phase are making possible the up-to-date mapping of abundance as well as distribution. A fourth program that has been used successfully in Europe and on a small scale in parts of North America yields detailed information on breeding distribution. The Breeding Bird Survey, sponsored by the U.S. Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife and the Canadian Wildlife Service, involves 2,000 randomly distributed roadside counts that are conducted during the height of the breeding season in all U.S. States and Canadian Provinces. Observations of approximately 1.4 million birds per year are entered on magnetic tape and subsequently used both for statistical analysis of population trends and for computer mapping of distribution and abundance. The National Audubon Society's Christmas Bird Count is conducted in about 1,000 circles, each 15 miles (24 km) in diameter, in the latter half of December. Raw data for past years have been published in voluminous reports, but not in a form for ready analysis. Under a contract between the U.S. Air Force and the U. S. Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife (in cooperation with the National Audubon Society), preliminary maps showing distribution and abundance of selected species that are potential hazards to aircraft are presently being mapped and prepared for publication. The Winter Bird Survey, which is in its fifth season of experimental study in a limited area in Central Maryland, may ultimately replace the Christmas Bird Count source. This Survey consists of a standardized 8-kilometer (5-mile) route covered uniformly once a year during midwinter. Bird Atlas programs, which map distribution but not abundance, are well established in Europe and are gaining interest in America

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Book chapter
Publication Subtype:
Book Chapter
Distribution and density of bird species hazardous to aircraft
Year Published:
Clemson University, Department of Zoology
Publisher location:
Clemson, South Carolina
Contributing office(s):
Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
Larger Work Type:
Larger Work Subtype:
Other Government Series
Larger Work Title:
Proceedings of a Conference on the Biological Aspects of the Bird/Aircraft Collision Problem
First page:
Last page: