Assess the spatial and temporal variations in the abundance of common breeding bird populations.
Standardized counts of common birds
Type of project : Field, online
Participation period : Spring
Level of involvement : Case by case
This observatory is part of the Vigie Nature network.
The methodology is simple and straightforward: observers who want to participate are randomly assigned a 2×2 km area within a 10 km radius around a location of their choice as well as an alternative area in the event that first area is inaccessible.
Inside the assigned area, the observer needs to set up 10 count points in a way that is consistent and proportional to the local habitats. He or she should then complete two timed species counts (TSCs[GB1]) (=EPS) of exactly five minutes each, with an interval of at least four weeks between counts, before and after the date of May 8. To measure the discrepancies in phenology due to climate change, since 2011 the protocol allows for an early count between March 1 and March 31, and if possible, another count four weeks later in April. All the birds seen and heard should be noted, and the habitat should also be described according to a European classification system that has been adapted for France.
The bird and habitat surveys are repeated every year at the same points and same dates, weather conditions permitting, by the same observer. The national network operates based on local coordinating offices which liaise between the national coordination office and the observers. The STOC-EPS program protocol is available on the website, along with various information on how to set up the program (including the list of local coordinators to contact to participate).