Monday, February 21, 2011

Pre-Restoration Prairie Bird Surveys Completed

Pre-restoration prairie bird surveys were completed on the 40 acre tract on Saturday, February 19. The protocol for the surveys was developed by biologists from Balcones Canyonlands Preserve and was very similar to the protocol used by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department in connection with Project Prairie Birds. The surveys are conducted three times over a four week period. This is a transect survey in that three straight line transects of 100 meters each are used. The survey team carries two 30 meter PVC pipes (see photos) and walks each transect using the pipe to flush any birds.

Interestingly, the surveys turning up only a SINGLE bird. A Sedge Wren was flushed during the second of the three surveys.

The paucity of birds existing in the future prairie tract underscores the significance of the restoration project. In fact, the data is essentially what we expected. Invasive plants equals no prairie birds. Prairie birds should be in this field and it is with full expectation that we will see a significant increase once the prairie is established.