We present a combined analysis of data from two large-scale surveys of bird populations. The North American Breeding Bird Survey is conducted each summer; the Christmas Bird Count is conducted in early winter. The temporal staggering of these surveys allows investigation of seasonal components of population change, which we illustrate with an examination of the effects of severe winters on the Carolina Wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus). Our analysis uses a hierarchical log-linear model with controls for survey-specific sampling covariates. Temporal change in population size is modeled seasonally, with covariates for winter severity. Overall, the winter?spring seasons are associated with 82% of the total population variation for Carolina Wrens, and an additional day of snow cover during winter?spring is associated with an incremental decline of 1.1% of the population.
Additional publication details
Seasonal components of avian population change: Joint analysis of two large-scale monitoring programs