There is no formal population survey specifically designed to index population abundance of band-tailed pigeons (Patagioenas fasciata) throughout their range. Data from the Breeding Bird Survey (BBS), Washington and Oregon Mineral-Site (WAORMS) surveys, and Washington Call Count (WACC) survey offer evidence of long-term population decline. We investigated the potential to augment BBS, WACC, and WAORMS surveys to provide more precise population indices for the Pacific Coast band-tailed pigeon (P. f. monilis) and augment the BBS to index the Interior or “Four Corners” population (P. f. fasciata). We calculated statistical power, the probability of detecting population change given that a change exists, and analyzed survey data to investigate the effect of route length, survey repetition, and sample size. Sample sizes of 50 sites or routes yielded corresponding powers of 99% for WAORMS, 54% for WACC, and 30% for Pacific BBS, to detect a 10% annual change over a 5-year period (a = 0.10). Route length and repetition of surveys had little impact on power. Mineral-site surveys provide the greatest potential to monitor breeding populations and detect short-term trends in the Pacific Coast population. New survey techniques are needed for the Interior band-tailed pigeon.
Breeding Bird Survey