Little is known about the population status of many marsh-dependent birds in North America but recent efforts have focused on collecting more reliable information and estimates of population trends. As part of that effort, a standardized survey protocol was developed in 1999 that provided guidance for conducting marsh bird surveys throughout North America such that data would be consistent among locations. The original survey protocol has been revised to provide greater clarification on many issues as the number of individuals using the protocol has grown. The Standardized North American Marsh Bird Monitoring Protocol instructs surveyors to conduct an initial 5-minute passive point-count survey followed by a series of 1-minute segments during which marsh bird calls are broadcast into the marsh following a standardized approach. Surveyors are instructed to record each individual bird from the suite of 26 focal species that are present in their local area on separate lines of a datasheet and estimate the distance to each bird. Also, surveyors are required to record whether each individual bird was detected within each 1-minute subsegment of the survey. These data allow analysts to use several different approaches for estimating detection probability. The Standardized North American Marsh Bird Monitoring Protocol provides detailed instructions that explain the field methods used to monitor marsh birds in North America.
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Vol. 34 • No. 3