A count protocol is a set of instructions on how to count birds. It's very important to follow a standardized protocol to ensure your counts are useful. When counts are performed inconsistently between sites from one visit to the next, these counts are difficult to compare and consequently, less informative.
Breeding Bird Protocol
This section provides instructions on how to count nesting shorebirds and seabirds in Florida using a specific count protocol titled the Breeding Bird Protocol (BBP).
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) designed the BBP with input from partners of the Florida Shorebird Alliance. For more information about the Florida Shorebird Database and its background, please visit the About page.
Please learn and use the BBP so your counts can be combined with others to provide valuable insight on species status, population trends, and management activities.
Breeding Bird Protocol: View / Download
|1||March 18-24||Locate early shorebird nests.||Many plovers and oystercatchers are on nests by mid-March.|
|2||April 15-21||Locate early seabird colonies; check status of shorebird nests.||Some seabird colonies begin forming in early April. Plover, willet and oystercatcher chicks begin to appear.|
|3||May 13-19||Locate new nests & colonies and check status of existing ones. Locate shorebird chicks.||May and June represent the peak of nesting season. Seabird chicks present at most colonies by June.|
|4||June 10-16||Check the status of all nests & colonies. Count shorebird and seabird chicks.|
|5||July 8-14||Locate new nests & colonies and check status of existing ones. Count chicks and fledglings.||July is often the time when second clutches and renesting attempts are initiated.|
|6||Aug. 5-11||Count chicks and fledglings.||August represents the tail end of the nesting season when recent fledges are most apparent.|