Hi All - I'm guessing my earlier report of Bohemians seen while shoveling snow brought this topic to the fore. When I see a flock, I first estimate, since who knows how long they'll be in that particular spot. Then I estimate systematically - by groups of 5 or 10 or 50 or whatever. Then, if they're still around I'll count them one by one or in small groups. And then I count them again. I too have noticed that my initial estimates tend to be low. And I've gotten a sense of how far off I'm likely to be. So I adjust my initial estimate accordingly. In years when I see them often or see the same flocks repeatedly, my estimating gets more accurate. I get a sense of how many the flock I'm seeing is. My observation of the flock I saw this morning was so brief I only had time for the first estimate. The difference in estimate and reality stands for birds in flight and in trees. Ever been watching a group feeding then they fly off and 2 or 3 more flocks appear to join them that you didn't even know were there? I love it! Nancy Richmond Polar Langlade co and Rhinelander Oneida co. On Fri, Jan 14, 2011 at 3:06 PM, Ryan Brady <ryanbrady10@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote: > Hi folks, this is more a cautionary heads-up than anything else but with > all the Bohemian Waxwing reports of 100, 250, 300 birds etc. and plenty more > to be seen yet this winter and spring I'm curious as to whether folks are > making actual counts, systematic estimates, or gross estimates of overall > flock size? In my experience, birders (myself included) vastly > underestimate flock size in this species, often upwards of 40-70%, i.e. a > flock estimated at 100 often has 140-170+ birds. Don't ask me why but > without alot of experience it's very difficult to correctly gauge numbers of > this species without actually counting, or at least more systematically > estimating (e.g. 5, 10, 20 birds at a time). So I challenge you the next > time you're up north to first estimate flock size as we often do and then > make an actual count. My money says there will be far more birds than you > thought! > > > Ryan Brady > Washburn, Bayfield County, WI > http://www.pbase.com/rbrady > > > > #################### > You received this email because you are subscribed to the Wisconsin Birding > Network (Wisbirdn). > To UNSUBSCRIBE or SUBSCRIBE, use the Wisbirdn web interface at: > http://www.freelists.org/list/wisbirdn. > To set DIGEST or VACATION modes, use the Wisbirdn web interface at: > http://www.freelists.org/list/wisbirdn. > Visit Wisbirdn ARCHIVES at: http://www.freelists.org/archives/wisbirdn. > > > #################### You received this email because you are subscribed to the Wisconsin Birding Network (Wisbirdn). To UNSUBSCRIBE or SUBSCRIBE, use the Wisbirdn web interface at: http://www.freelists.org/list/wisbirdn. To set DIGEST or VACATION modes, use the Wisbirdn web interface at: http://www.freelists.org/list/wisbirdn. Visit Wisbirdn ARCHIVES at: http://www.freelists.org/archives/wisbirdn.