Birds are well recognized as indicators of environmental conditions.  Each year, we assess the breeding bird communities at our randomly selected sites using point counts.  Every CTAP site contains one or more points where birds are surveyed during a 10-minute period once or twice between late May and early July each year. Using data collected during our surveys, we can assess the occurrence or abundance of individual species as well as the number of species found at a particular site.  

When our bird data are combined with plant community data and information on the landscape surrounding a particular site, we can determine how temporal changes in habitat and landscape conditions are affecting bird populations. This includes assessing factors influencing populations of game and non-game species recognized as conservation priorities in Illinois, regionally, and nationally.

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Red-bellied Woodpecker

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We often develop good relationships with landowners that we work with. Here you can see landowner Joe Stephens of Perry County (left) and CTAP ornithologist Steve Bailey (right) at a wetland site.

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Chipping Sparrow

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CTAP ornithologist Tara Beveroth preparing to do point count sampling at a grassland site.

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Canada Goose