Avian Data Center How-To Tips

You may also want to view the Rocky Mountain Avian Data Center User Training Video.

The Avian Data Center has been designed to provide information for specific questions and therefore works best when users select multiple filters for a query. To run a query, click the arrow for the drop down “Filter” menu (located in the extreme upper left corner of the screen) and select one of the following filter types: Study Design, BCR, State, County, Management Entity, Priority Species List, Species, Year, Super Stratum, or Individual Stratum. After selecting the filter type, click the “Add” button immediately to the right of the drop down menu. A box will appear with options for the filter that you may select. Use the drop down menu in the box to select the specific filter and then click “Add filter”. The selected filter will appear near the top of the screen. Users may add multiple filter types to view results for a very specific inquiry (e.g., to view IMBCR results for BRSP in CO you would apply the following filters: Study Design = IMBCR, Species = Brewer’s Sparrow, and State = CO) or to view multiple outputs at once (e.g., to view data and results for Brewer’s Sparrow and Vesper Sparrow at the same time select Species = Brewer’s Sparrow and Species = Vesper Sparrow). Below is an explanation of the different filter types you may choose from.

       Study Design: This filter will allow users to select data and results for IMBCR, GRTS, Migration phenology, NEON, or NPS study designs.  Selecting the GRTS filter will display data and results for monitoring efforts which used the IMBCR design but do NOT contribute to state-wide and regional estimates (these projects are typically called “overlays”).

·         The IMBCR filter will select data and results collected under the IMBCR protocol that contribute to state and BCR-wide estimates.

·         The Migration Phenology filter will select data and results for the Migration Phenology project.

·         The NEON study design is a specific study design developed by NEON and RMBO for surveys conducted at NEON research locations.

·         The NPS study designs are a mixture of study designs specifically designed for individual national parks. Please note that we are still working on adding some of the historic data to the Avian Data Center so not all study designs are currently available.

BCR: This filter will allow users to select IMBCR data and results for a particular Bird Conservation Region. Selecting this filter will provide you with results for all strata and super strata within a particular BCR.

State: This filter will allow users to select data and results for all study designs for a particular state. Selecting this filter will supply the user with IMBCR data and results for all strata and super strata within a particular state.

County: this filter will allow users to select data for a particular county. Please note that only raw count data and survey locations are available at the county level.

Priority Species List: This filter will allow users to select data and results for multiple species at once. The query will display data and results for all species included on the selected management indicator list, species of conservation concern list, etc.

Species: This filter allows users to select data and results for a particular species.

Year: This filter will allow users to select all data and results for a particular year.

Super Stratum: This filter allows users to select IMBCR data and results for multiple strata that were analyzed jointly (e.g., the entire Bridger-Teton National Forest which was broken up into 2 strata or the entire state of Colorado which was broken up into 30 strata).

Individual Stratum: This filter allows users to select IMBCR and GRTS data and results for a particular stratum.

Management Entity: This filter will allow users to select data and results for All Other Lands, Colorado State Land Board, The Nature Conservancy (TNC), US Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA),US Bureau of Land Management (BLM), US Department of Defense (DOD), US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), US Forest Service (USFS), or National Park Service (NPS). Once a management entity is chosen, users may notice that additional filter types are available in the filters drop down list. These additional filter types, listed from most general to most specific, are management regions (e.g., USFS Region 1), management units (e.g., Dakota Prairie Grasslands), management forests (e.g., Shoshone National Forest), or management districts (e.g., North Kaibab district within Kaibab National Forest). Below is the filter hierarchy for the different management entities.

Hierarchy for the different management entities

All Other Lands:
Tier One – Management Entity – All Other Lands

Tier Two – Management Region – Not applicable

Tier Three – Management Unit – Not applicable

Tier Four – National Forest or Grassland – Not applicable

Tier Five – Management District – Not applicable

 

Colorado State Land board:
Tier One – Management Entity – Colorado State Land Board

Tier Two – Management Region – Lowry Range

Tier Three – Management Unit – Not applicable

Tier Four – National Forest or Grassland – Not applicable

Tier Five – Management District – Not applicable

 

The Nature Conservancy:
Tier One – Management Entity – The Nature Conservancy

Tier Two – Management Region – Cherry Creek

Tier Three – Management Unit – Not applicable

Tier Four – National Forest or Grassland – Not applicable

Tier Five – Management District – Not applicable

 

Tribal Lands:
Tier One – Management Entity – US Bureau of Indian Affairs

Tier Two – Management Region – Reservation

Tier Three – Management Unit – Not applicable

Tier Four – National Forest or Grassland – Not applicable

Tier Five – Management District – Not applicable

 

BLM:
Tier One – Management Entity – Bureau of Land Management

Tier Two – Management Region – BLM Field Office

Tier Three – Management Unit – Not applicable

Tier Four – National Forest or Grassland – Not applicable

Tier Five – Management District – Not applicable

 

DOD:
Tier One – Management Entity – US Department of Defense

Tier Two – Management Region – US DOD Installation

Tier Three – Management Unit – Not applicable

Tier Four – National Forest or Grassland – Not applicable

Tier Five – Management District – Not applicable

 

USFWS:
Tier One – Management Entity – US Fish and Wildlife Service

Tier Two – Management Region – USFWS Region

Tier Three – Management Unit – USFWS Management Unit, Refuge, etc.

Tier Four – National Forest or Grassland – Not applicable

Tier Five – Management District – Not applicable

 

USFS:
Tier One – Management Entity – US Forest Service

Tier Two – Management Region – USFS Regions

Tier Three – Management Unit – National Forest (NF) or National Grassland (NG) management units (used to represent situations where multiple forests are managed jointly)

Tier Four – National Forest or Grassland – NF or NG

Tier Five – Management District – NF or NG Ranger Districts

 

NPS:
Tier One – Management Entity – National Park Service

Tier Two – Management Region – Inventory and Monitoring Network

Tier Three – Management Unit – Individual NPS Parks, Monuments, Memorials, Recreation Areas, and Historic Sites

Tier Four – Management Forest – Not applicable

Tier Five – Management District – Not applicable

 Clearing Filters

Filters can be cleared in one of two ways. You may click on the circled “X” to the left of an individual filter at the top of the screen to remove it or you may click the “clear all filters” button at the top of the screen to start building a new query.

 Running Queries

Once you have selected your desired filters, please click on the “Run Query” button located at the top of the screen. The amount of time it takes for the desired data and results to be displayed will depend on how specific your query is.

 Comparing Multiple Queries

Users may view results of multiple queries at once. To do this, run the first query as described above and then click the button “New Query Window” (located at the top of the screen). A new window will appear where a separate query can be run. The two windows can then be viewed side by side.

 Share a Created Query with a Colleague

It is possible to create a link to the Avian Data Center/ Explore the Data screen with a pre-loaded set of filters for a query. To do this, add the custom set of filters for your query per the instructions above and then click the “Generate URL” button near the top right corner of the screen. A pop-up box will appear with a highlighted URL address. Once you copy the highlighted text you may paste the URL address into an email or document using conventional means. Please note that whoever receives the URL address will need to run the query after clicking on the link to see the survey locations, results, and raw count statistics for the set of filters of interest.


 Viewing Maps (Map Tab)

What is displayed?

By default, the map tab is the initial start-up page. After clicking the “Run Query” button, the ADC will display a map of all survey locations corresponding to your set of filters (surveyed sampling units are represented by blue semi-transparent circles) in Google Earth. If you have filtered by species, survey locations where that species was not detected will be represented by the blue circle. Locations where a survey was conducted and the target species was detected will have a pink dot in the center of the blue circle. To see the specific name of a survey location, hover the mouse arrow over the blue circle. After a moment the name of the surveyed sampling unit should appear. You may view the bird detection information for a sampling unit and the survey dates by left clicking your mouse on the blue circle.

By default, the zoom capability of the maps page is restricted to protect the privacy of private landowners. Funding and/or implementation partners wishing for more precise location information to be displayed should request a password from RMBO's IT staff via email. Once a user has a password, click on the “View Options” button at the top of the screen, enter the password in the “Password for RMBO staff and partners” field, and click “Save”. If you have run a query prior to entering the password, you will need to click the “Run Query” button again in order to utilize the enhanced zooming features now available to you.

 Adding map layers

You may add the following layers to the map: Bird Conservation Region boundaries, BIA boundaries, DOD boundaries, NPS boundaries, USFS boundaries, and BLM field office boundaries. To do this, left click on the drop down menu at the top left corner of the map, select the desired layer, and click the “add layer” button. It is possible to add multiple layers to the map by repeating this process. If you left click your mouse inside of any of these boundaries a text box will appear that contains the name of the region encompassed by the boundary.


 Viewing Occupancy/Density Results (Occupancy and Density Tabs)

Viewing Tables

You may view a table of occupancy or density results and a chart for all appropriate strata (based on the set of filters) for which we have results by clicking on the tabs labeled “Occupancy” or “Density”. These tabs are located just below the drop down filter menu in the upper left corner of the screen. The occupancy tables will display the species for which the estimate was produced, the stratum the estimate pertains to, the year, Psi (proportion of sampling units expected to be occupied), the number of sampling units the species was detected on, the standard error (SE) of the estimate, and the percent coefficient of variation (% CV). The density tables will display the species for which the estimate was produced, the stratum or habitat type that the estimate pertains to, the year, the number of birds expected per km2 (D), the total number of individuals expected to reside within the stratum (N), the percent coefficient of variation (% CV), and the number of independent detections used in analyses (n). You may view a description of the column headings by moving the mouse arrow over the column heading. You may also sort the table by clicking on any of the column headings.

 Viewing the Charts

When viewing the occupancy and density charts, the point estimate of Psi or D is indicated with a dot. Additionally, short horizontal dashes above and below the point estimate represent values one standard error away from the point estimate. To view the species, stratum, and year that correspond to an estimate on the chart, simply move your mouse arrow over the point estimate or standard error bar. A message will pop up with the appropriate information. If you have queried out multiple years of data the point estimates for each year will be connected with a solid line. You may remove an individual estimate from the chart by clicking on the corresponding row of the table on the left side of the screen. Estimates that are not displayed on the chart will turn a peach color in the table. You may add the estimate back onto the chart by clicking on the peach colored row in the table.

 How to interpret the estimates

The Integrated Monitoring in Bird Conservation Regions program collects breeding bird information each year in multiple states throughout the Rocky Mountains, Great Plains, and Intermountain West. Every year, occupancy and density estimates are calculated at a variety of spatial scales. This information can be used in many ways to inform avian conservation and management, including:

       1.    Bird population estimates can be compared in space. For example, stratum-level estimates can be compared to state and regional estimates to determine whether local populations are above or below estimates for the region and to determine conservation stewardship for a management area in a specific region;

       2.    Population estimates can be used to make informed management decisions about where to focus conservation efforts. For example, strata with large populations can be targeted for protection and strata with low populations can be prioritized for conservation action; a threshold could be set to trigger a management action when populations reach a predetermined level;

       3.    Population estimates of treatment areas can be compared to regional estimates to evaluate effectiveness of management actions. For example, if sagebrush areas are being treated to improve habitat for Greater sage-grouse (GRSG) and estimates for sagebrush-obligate birds increase in these areas in relation to regional estimates where treatment is not occurring, the results would suggest that the GRSG management actions are also beneficial to other sagebrush-obligate bird species;

       4.    Annual estimates of density and occupancy can be compared over time to determine if population changes are a result of population growth or decline and/or range expansion or contraction. For example, if population densities of a species declined over time, but the occupancy rates remained constant, then the population change was due to declines in local abundance. In contrast, if both density and occupancy rates of a species declined, then population change was due to range contraction;

       5.    Occupancy rates can be multiplied by the land area in a region of interest to estimate the area occupied by a species. For example, if a stratum comprises 120,000 km2 and the occupancy estimate for Western Meadowlark is 0.57, managers can estimate that 68,400 km2 (120,000 km2 * 0.57) of habitat within that stratum is occupied by Western Meadowlarks.

 Knowing which species have estimates

To restrict the species filter to display only those species for which occupancy and/or density estimates have been produced, click on the “View Options” button on the very top of the screen and then check the box next to “Only show species for which occupancy/density results are available”. This will prevent you from querying out numerous species for which occupancy or density estimates are not available.

 Saving results of your query

You may easily save the results of your query by clicking the “Copy to clipboard” button and pasting the results into another program such as excel or by clicking the “Save to CSV” button. Similarly, to save a chart click on the “View Image” button below the chart, right click on anywhere on the image and select “Copy image” or “Save image as”.

 Functionality

Please keep in mind that queries with very generic filters will result in long wait times and may not function optimally (your browser may end up crashing). For instance, if a user selects only the IMBCR filter, occupancy results will be displayed for every species and strata/super strata combination for which there are occupancy and/or density results. If your query is not specific enough, the chart on the right side of the screen will not be displayed or a pop-up box will appear asking if you’d like to continue. This pop-up box is designed to prevent your web browser from crashing while the ADC attempts to create a chart that would be extremely difficult to interpret. We recommend that you cancel the proposed query and add additional filters to make your query less generic.

 What is available?

Currently, occupancy results are available for 2010 through the previous year's breeding season.  Density estimates and raw count data are available for 2008 through the previous year's breeding season. Results for the previous year's breeding season are usually posted to the Avian Data Center at the end of each calendar year.

 

Viewing Raw Count Statistics (Species Counts Tab)

 You may view the raw count of detections for each species (left table) and the effort (expressed as the number of point count stations surveyed) (right table) for your query by clicking on the “Species Counts” tab located next to the “Density Tab” in the upper left corner of your screen. Both the counts and effort tables may be sorted by clicking on the row header. Additionally, you may view the counts and effort by BCR, State, County, Stratum, or Management Entity by clicking on the “Count by” drop down menu located above the counts table. If you have filtered using “Super Strata”, viewing counts by Stratum is an excellent way of getting a list of all the strata that comprise a Super Stratum. If you would prefer to view effort expressed as the number of sampling units surveyed, click on the “View Options” button located at the top of the screen and check the box labeled “Show effort by number of sampling units instead of by point”.

 
2012 Rocky Mountain Observatory