We conducted 262 call-broadcast point-count surveys (1-6 replicate surveys on each of 62 points) using standardized North American Marsh Bird Monitoring Protocols between 31 May and 7 July 2006 on St. Vincent National Wildlife Refuge, an island off the northwest coast of Florida. We conducted double-blind multiple-observer surveys, paired morning and evening surveys, and paired morning and night surveys to examine the influence of call-broadcast and time of day on detection probability. Observer detection probability for all species pooled was 75% and was similar between passive (69%) and call-broadcast (65%) periods. Detection probability was higher on morning than evening (t = 3.0, P = 0.030) or night (t = 3.4, P = 0.042) surveys when we pooled all species. Detection probability was higher (but not significant for all species) on morning compared to evening or night surveys for all five focal species detected on surveys: Least Bittern (Ixobrychus exilis), Clapper Rail (Rallus longirostris), Purple Gallinule (Porphyrula martinica), Common Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus), and American Coot (Fulica americana). We detected more Least Bitterns (t = 2.4, P = 0.064) and Common Moorhens (t = 2.8, P = 0.026) on morning than evening surveys, and more Clapper Rails (t = 5.1, P = 0.014) on morning than night surveys.
Additional publication details
Maximizing detection probability of Wetland-dependent birds during point-count surveys in northwestern Florida