[TN-Bird] Cumberland County breeding bird foray: Memorial Day weekend volunteers sought

  • From: "LeGrand Family" <elegrand@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <tn-bird@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 14 Mar 2010 16:02:25 -0500

From Saturday, May 29 through Friday, June 4 there will be a foray to determine 
the breeding status of birds in Cumberland County. Since Cumberland County is 
quite large (with 75 blocks that need covering), we really would appreciate 
some skilled birders to follow up on the TOS atlas work that was done in 1985.
Steve Stedman runs several of these every year (another is Clay County, being 
conducted June 12-15). Details can be found on his website 
http://iweb.tntech.edu/sstedman/birds.htm under "Upper Cumberland Region 
Foray". I've participated in a few of these forays in other counties, and they 
really test your skills in a fun way--there's a time element (2-3 hours of 
counting in a block) as well as paying attention to evidence of breeding. 

Cumberland County is 1 hr from Knoxville, 1.5 hrs from Chattanooga, and 1.75 
hrs from Nashville. A day or two of pretty intense birding should give us 
coverage on 3-8 blocks. This should be a really interesting 25th anniversary 
foray, and there are quite a few species whose status is in question. I've got 
a couple of spare rooms if you'd need a place to stay. 

The methodology is attached below (from Steve Stedman's website). 

Ed LeGrand 
Cumberland Co., TN

Obtain foray field cards, a map of the county, and maps of one or more foray 
blocks from the foray coordinator (usually SJS). 

  Study the county map with USGS quadrangles marked on it and all the block 
map(s) you received. 

  Enter your assigned block, being sure to note beginning and ending times you 
were present in it, as well as total hours spent in it on the foray field card. 
If you work in the block on more than one day, keep track of beginning and 
ending times and total hours for each day.  You may keep a separate card for 
each day, but try to turn in your block data on a single card summarizing all 
data for the block.

   Part of the time you work in each block will be the counting period, when 
you keep count of all individuals of all species in the rightmost column of the 
foray field card (or keep the count on a separate sheet and transfer the number 
of individuals of each species that you count into the rightmost column of the 
foray field card when you complete your survey of the block).  You must count 
individuals of all species for exactly 2 hours if you begin the counting period 
before 0930 CDT/1030 EDT; you must count for exactly 3 hours if you begin the 
counting period after 0930 CDT/1030 EDT. For counting periods done early in the 
morning, do not start before 0515 CDT/0615 EDT.  Be sure to note the beginning 
and ending times of the counting period on your field card, as well as the 
beginning and ending times of total work, if these differ.  You may work as 
many additional hours in a block as you wish, but do not include any additional 
individuals in the data for the counting period; you should indicate additional 
species found outside the counting period only with codes for breeding (see 
field card and next paragraph).  Note: during the counting period, do NOT use 
taped owl calls, spishing, or any other artificial means of eliciting a 
response from birds; however, you may use such means during any other time you 
are working in a block, except as noted in the next paragraph.  If you use such 
means to lure in birds, you should not use the A (agitated behavior) code as a 
breeding code for any species so lured.

    If you are able to work during night-time hours, a nocturnal counting 
period may also be conducted in any blocks so worked.  The nocturnal counting 
period is 30 minutes long, conducted either before dawn or after dusk.  If you 
conduct any nocturnal counting periods, make a list of all species encountered 
in the Notes section of the field card; however, only nocturnal data for the 
owls, nightjars, and woodcock will be analyzed and mapped for each block.  Be 
sure to note the beginning and ending times of the nocturnal counting period on 
the field card for each block.  Note: use of tape recorded or imitated owl and 
woodcock calls, but not nightjar calls, is permissible during the nocturnal 
counting period. 

  Seek the highest level of breeding evidence that you can find for each 
species (see the foray field card for the categories and types of breeding 
evidence and the codes to use for each). Place the appropriate breeding code in 
the appropriate column of the foray field card each time you note breeding 
evidence for species breeding in the block.  In many cases this will entail 
placing an X in the Possible (POS) column, but in other cases it will entail 
placing a PRB code or a CON code in the appropriate column on the card. 

  If you encounter species that are bold-faced on the field card, mark the 
exact location of that species on the block map.  Then on a sheet of notebook 
paper prepare a short paragraph that describes the field marks of the species 
and any information of interest about the sighting.  If you encounter the foray 
focal species, be especially careful to note the locations of these. 

  Submit your field cards and block maps to the coordinators, preferably at the 
main collection site at the collection time (see next paragraph); keep the 
county map among your ornithological memorabilia. 

  There will be a brief meeting at the main collection site each afternoon to 
collect the day's data, to distribute foray material to anyone needing it, and 
to start or to add to the species list for the foray.

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  • » [TN-Bird] Cumberland County breeding bird foray: Memorial Day weekend volunteers sought - LeGrand Family