Open Access
How to translate text using browser tools
1 December 2006 Are Winter Species Composition and Abundance Censuses of Birds in Small Urban Green Areas Comparable?
Tomasz Brauze, Jacek Zieliński
Author Affiliations +

Wintering birds were studied in three plots (10.0–14.5 ha) in urban green areas in central Poland. Two observers independently counted the birds in each plot on six days evenly distributed between mid-December and mid-February. On the count day, each observer did two surveys: an early count, starting at 8 a.m., and immediately afterwards, a late count, finishing before noon. Using three-way ANOVA, the differences between densities, numbers of species and Shannon-Wiener diversity indices obtained in single counts were tested in relation to independent variables: the count time (early or late), the observer, and the plot. No effect of plot variable was revealed. An observer effect was, however, found in the number of species, as well as in the densities of the whole avifauna and of flocking species. Differences in the bird diversity indices were found only between the early and late counts. The results of the present study indicate that there are no means of definitively assessing the number of species, density, and species diversity of birds wintering in small parts of urban green areas.



A. Báldi , T. Csörgfi01_93.gif 1991. Effect of environmental factors on tits wintering in a Hungarian marshland. Ornis Hungarica 1: 29–36. Google Scholar


A. Báldi , T. Csörgfi01_93.gif 1994. Roosting site fidelity of Great tits (Parus major) during winter. Acta Zoolog. Acad. Scien. Hungaricae 40: 359–367. Google Scholar


W. Biaduń 1994. Winter avifauna of urban parks and cemeteries in Lublin (SE Poland). Acta Ornithol. 29: 15–27. Google Scholar


W. Biaduń 1996. [Avifauna of the allotments garden in Lublin]. Notatki Ornitol. 37: 247–258. Google Scholar


T. Brauze , J. Zieliński 2004. [Species richness and detectability of species composition of winter avifauna on small urban green areas]. In: P. Indykiewicz , T. Barczak , G. Kaczorowski (eds). [Biodiversity and ecology of animal populations in urban environments]. NICE, Bydgoszcz, pp. 531–536. Google Scholar


R. Brewer 1978. A comparison of three methods of estimating winter bird population. J. Field Ornithol. 49: 252–261. Google Scholar


L. Brotons 2000. Winter spacing and non-breeding social system of the Coal Tit Parus ater in a subalpine forest. Ibis 142: 657–667. Google Scholar


L. Brotons , M. Orell , K. Lahti , K. Koivula 2000. Age-related microhabitat segregation in willow tit Parus montanus winter flocks. Ethology 106: 993–1005. Google Scholar


P. Clergeau , J. Jokimäki , J-P. L. Savard 2001. Are urban bird communities influenced by the bird diversity of adjacent landscapes? J. Appl. Ecol. 38: 1122–1134. Google Scholar


P. F. Donald , D. Haycock , R. J. Fuller 1997. Winter bird communities in forest plantations in western England and their response to vegetation, growth stage and grazing. Bird Study 44: 206–219. Google Scholar


J. Ekman 1989. Ecology of non-breeding social systems of Parus. Wilson Bull. 101: 263–288. Google Scholar


T. Engstrom , F. C. James 1981. Plot size as a factor in winter bird-population studies. Condor 83: 34–41. Google Scholar


Z. Głowaciński , J. Weiner 1975. A bird community of a mature deciduous forest: its Organization Standing Crop and energy balance (IBP “Ispina Projekt”). Bull. Acad. Pol. Sci., Ser. Sci. Biol. 23: 691–697. Google Scholar


E. Górska , W. Górski 1980. [Birds wintering in Poznań]. Acta Ornithol. 17: 271–295. Google Scholar


T. C. Grubb Jr . 1975. Weather-dependent foraging behavior of some birds wintering in a deciduous woodland. Condor 77: 175–182. Google Scholar


T. C. Jr. Grubb 1977. Weather-dependent foraging behavior of some birds wintering in a deciduous woodland: horizontal adjustments. Condor 79: 271–274. Google Scholar


S. A. Hinsley , P. E. Bellamy , B. Enoksson , G. Fry , L. Gabrielsen , D. McCollin , A. Schotman 1998. Geographical and landuse influences on bird species richness in small woods in agricultural landscapes. Global Ecol. Biogeogr. Lett. 7: 125–135. Google Scholar


O. Hogstad 1999: Territory acquisition during winter by juvenile Willow tits Parus montanus. Ibis 141: 615–620. Google Scholar


P. G. Jabłoński , S. D. Lee 1999. Winter avifauna of three botanical gardens in the suburbs of Seoul (Korea). Acta Ornithol. 34: 77–80. Google Scholar


J. Jokimäki , J. Suhonen , K. Inki , S. Jokinen 1996. Biogeographical comparison of winter bird assemblages in urban environments in Finland. J. Biogeogr. 23: 379–386. Google Scholar


J. Jokimäki , J. Suhonen 1998. Distribution and habitat selection of wintering birds in urban environments. Landsc. Urban Plann. 39: 253–263. Google Scholar


J. Jokimäki , P. Clergeau , M. L. Kaisanlahti-Jokimäki 2002. Winter bird communities in urban habitats: a comparative study between central and northern Europe. J. Biogeogr. 29: 69–79. Google Scholar


H. Källander , S. G. Nilsson , S. Svensson 1977. The Swedish Winter Bird Census Programme. Pol. Ecol. Stud. 3: 77–88. Google Scholar


K. Lahti 1998. Social dominance and survival in flocking passerine birds: a review with an emphasis on the Willow Tit Parus montanus. Ornis Fennica 75: 1–17. Google Scholar


M. Luniak 1981. The birds of the park habitats in Warsaw. Acta Ornithol. 18: 335–373. Google Scholar


E. Matthysen 1990. Non-breeding social organization in Parus. Curr. Ornithol. 7: 209–249. Google Scholar


E. Matthysen 1999. Foraging behaviour of Nuthatches (Sitta europaea) in relation to the presence of mates and mixed flocks. J. Ornithol. 140: 443–451. Google Scholar


T. D. Mazgajski , A. H Kfi02_93.gifdra , P. Tykarski 1997. [Comparison of methods for establishing interspecific number relations in winter concentrations of corvids.] Notatki Ornitol. 38: 61–67. Google Scholar


M. Nakamura , N. Shindo 2001. Effects of snow cover on the social and foraging behavior of the Great Tit Parus major. Ecol. Res. 16: 301–308. Google Scholar


D. Nankinov 1977. Attempt at censusing Corvidae and diurnal birds of prey in winter. Pol. Ecol. Stud. 3: 189–192. Google Scholar


S. G. Nilsson 1974. Methods of estimating bird population densities during the winter. Ornis Scand. 5: 37–46. Google Scholar


J. Nowakowski , B. Dulisz 2001. [Relationship between the species composition, and quantitative structure of birds communities wintering in urban area and a number of censuses]. In: P. Indykiewicz , T. Barczak , G. Kaczorowski (eds). [Biodiversity and ecology of animal populations in urban environments]. NICE, Bydgoszcz, pp. 174–178. Google Scholar


W. Nowicki 2001. [The birds of inner Warsaw]. Mus. Inst. Zool. PAS, Warszawa. Google Scholar


S. S. Rosenstock , D. R. Anderson , K. M. Giesen , T. Leukering , M. F. Carter 2002. Landbird counting techniques: current practices and an alternative. Auk 119: 46–53. Google Scholar


C. S. Robbins 1970. Comparison of two methods for monitoring changes in winter populations of songbirds. Bull. Ecol. Res. Comm. 9: 38–39. Google Scholar


C. S. Robbins , D. Bystrak 1974. The Winter Bird Survey of central Maryland, U.S.A. Acta Ornithol. 14: 255–271. Google Scholar


G. A. Sonerud , H. Hansen , C. A. Smedshaug 2002. Individual roosting strategies in a flock-living bird: movement and social cohesion of hooded crows (Corvus corone cornix) from pre-roost gatherings to roost sites. Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol. 51: 309–318. Google Scholar


M. A. Stapanian , C. C. Smith , E. J. Finck 1999. The response of a Kansas winter bird community to weather, photoperiod, and year. Wilson Bull. 111: 550–558. Google Scholar


S. E. Svensson 1974. Interpersonal variation in species map evaluation in bird census work with the mapping method. Acta Ornithol. 14: 322–338. Google Scholar


L. Tomiałojć 1974. [The quantitative analysis of the breeding and winter avifauna of the forests in the vicinity of Legnica (Lower Silesia)]. Acta Ornithol. 14: 59–97. Google Scholar


L. Tomiałojć 1992. [Are the mapping technique results comparable between the inexperienced persons working in isolation?]. Notatki Ornitol. 33: 131–139. Google Scholar
Tomasz Brauze and Jacek Zieliński "Are Winter Species Composition and Abundance Censuses of Birds in Small Urban Green Areas Comparable?," Acta Ornithologica 41(2), 93-101, (1 December 2006).
Received: 1 July 2005; Accepted: 1 December 2006; Published: 1 December 2006
bird census method
mixed species flocks
urban birds
wintering birds
Back to Top