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Aves, 49/3 | 2012 | 139-157

  Estimating the numbers of common birds: lessons from a count in an urban environment, in Woluwe-Saint-Pierre (Brussels)
Denis van der Elst

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Article summary

In 2010 a count of nesting birds was 25 hectares of an urbanized but very green district at Woluwe (Brussels). The biggest numbers per square km were 118 pairs of Robin Erithacus rubecula, 140 Great Tit Parus major, 148 Wood Pigeon Columba palumbus, 170 Hedge Accentor Prunella modularis and 280 Blackbird Turdus merula. The count was repeated in 2011. The totals for several species were lower in 2011. In 2011, we also made « sampling » visits of one hour per square km. The figures for complete estimates per square kilometer indicate that the « sampling » visits enabled us to detect between 8 % and 42 % (according the species) of the nesting pairs. These percentages correspond to the « detection rate ». We compared the estimates of common species in the recent Atlases of Nesting Birds of Brussels and of Wallonia with the sum of the contacts in the “sampling » visits. The results indicate a « detection rate » of between 45 % and 90 %. The comparison of these rates with those obtained in Woluwe indicates that the figures in the Atlases need to be treated with some reserve. It appears that the estimates of the populations of common birds in these two Atlases might be significantly underestimated.

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Articles on the same species

Accenteur mouchet (Prunella modularis), Corneille noire (Corvus corone), Étourneau sansonnet (Sturnus vulgaris), Fauvette à tête noire (Sylvia atricapilla), Geai des chênes (Garrulus glandarius), Grive musicienne (Turdus philomelos), Héron cendré (Ardea cinerea), Martinet noir (Apus apus), Merle noir (Turdus merula), Mésange à longue queue (Aegithalos caudatus), Mésange bleue (Cyanistes caeruleus), Mésange charbonnière (Parus major), Mésange huppée (Lophophanes cristatus), Mésange noire (Periparus ater), Moineau domestique (Passer domesticus), Perruche à collier (Psittacula krameri), Pic épeiche (Dendrocopos major), Pie bavarde (Pica pica), Pigeon biset (Columba livia), Pigeon ramier (Columba palumbus), Pinson des arbres (Fringilla coelebs), Pouillot véloce (Phylloscopus collybita), Roitelet huppé (Regulus regulus), Roitelet triple-bandeau (Regulus ignicapilla), Rougegorge familier (Erithacus rubecula), Tourterelle turque (Streptopelia decaocto), Troglodyte mignon (Troglodytes troglodytes), Verdier d'Europe (Carduelis chloris)

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