Methods of estimating bird numbers differ with regard to the results obtained and time required. A usual method of counting grey partridge Perdix perdix consists in counting calling males in the period with their highest vocal activity. This method was tested in our study with the additional use of playback. The number of males calling after playback was significantly higher than before playback. We found a positive relationship between the increase in the number of males calling after playback and their maximum numbers at the study site. However, after playback, the mean number of recorded males was significantly smaller in sites with the presence of red fox Vulpes vulpes burrows than in locations where this predator was absent. Without playback, there was no difference in the number of males between these two types of sites. The results of this study show that the use of playback improves the ability to detect grey partridges (as was similarly found with many other species). The use of playback in estimating the numbers of grey partridge may also allow further analyses, on e.g. site selectivity.
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