Winter Thrushes Survey - second winter

There will be a second winter of the Winter Thrushes Survey starting in September. The BTO has confirmed the following decisions:

  • start and end dates for WTS this winter will again be mid Sep to mid April and provisionally we will begin on 12 Sep, as last year
  • as before, volunteers can choose their own squares, or sign up for core squares assigned to them by WTS ROs
  • self-selected sites can be new, or the same as last winter
  • core squares will be the same ones as allocated last year, with more squares issued where the present allocation is almost taken up. To compare years, we are anxious to get as many visits to last year’s core sites as possible, as well as new information from core squares not covered last year (particularly in areas poorly covered last year). As before, core squares can be visited at any time during the winter (adding information on seasonality), but the main requirement will be to make a visit during the set midwinter period (which will be Dec 27-Jan 10, as last winter)
  • there will be minimal changes to survey procedures from last winter, as we want to know whether foraging patterns and foods taken change between years
  • we will be editing the application and instructions to improve clarity where needed
  • we do really need the polygons (showing the area covered) for the core sites, but this is optional for the self-selected sites
  • we plan to drop the counts of 'additional species' (but retain Waxwings and Starlings)

The web site is presently set up to receive data from last winter but will be re-launched in early Sept. By this time minor changes and clarifications will have been made.

Last winter's survey proved popular with volunteers, who made over 12,600 visits to more than 3,100 different squares and reported more than 810,000 birds!
Did you see the article in the recent BTO News where the York Region was one of a few picked out as having covered 20 or more core sites?