The estimation of songbird population size has become an important component of avian conservation. Population estimates serve as the baseline from which population targets are established for species on conservation concern. Research that ground-truths bird densities is an important step in refining these population estimates and associated population targets.
To contribute to conservation of sagebrush habitats, population estimates are being established using existing data for a suite of priority bird species. In 2008, KBO completed a project designed to ground-truth that information.
This project funded through Service First is a regional interagency project with the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and involves a suite of collaborators. Through this research we assessed bird density in varying shrub steppe habitats. Results of this study are informing Partners in Flightconservation efforts that are working to refine species population estimates for Oregon and Washington. The long-term benefits from this study will be better management of our sagebrush rangeland as habitat for birds.