Checklist programs that compile birding observations are potentially useful for population monitoring. Previous analyses showed that trends in Quebec checklist data from migration seasons were significantly correlated with trends from the Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) in Quebec, although agreement of trend magnitudes for individual species was low. Here we analyze Quebec checklist data from the breeding season for comparison, using both the full data set and a subset of data collected at frequently visited (“standard”) sites. Checklist trends from the breeding season for standard sites corresponded much more closely to magnitudes of BBS trends than checklist trends based on all sites, although in both cases, checklists accurately reflected direction of BBS trend in >80% of species. Checklist trends from migration seasons for all sites and for standard sites were similar to each other, and did not correspond as well to BBS trends, probably because different populations were sampled in the two seasons. Checklist programs can be improved for population monitoring purposes by encouraging frequent reporting from standard sites, and by collecting recommended ancillary data that allow analysts to select data most appropriate to their research questions.
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Vol. 72 • No. 4