Pleasants Development, LLC

Key Services

  • Forest Interior Dwelling Bird Survey

Project Details

CRI was contracted to conduct a forest interior dwelling bird species (FIDS) survey within the Chesapeake Bay Critical Area (CA) on properties east and west of Marley Neck Road in northern Anne Arundel County, MD. FIDS are a protected resource within the CA, and any forested habitat comprising at least 50 contiguous acres or forest with at least 10 acres of interior habitat, can potentially be FIDS habitat. There are 25 recognized FIDS in Maryland, and to document whether a given forest area is FIDS habitat, point count bird censuses are conducted during the safe breeding dates of the FIDS.

Using aerial mapping, CRI established five sample plot locations spaced at least 450 feet apart and 150 feet from a road within the approximately 50 contiguous forest acres between Marley Neck Road and Marley Creek that comprised the study area. The mapped plot locations were then saved as a shapefile that was transferred to a global positioning system (GPS). Using the GPS navigation, sample plots were located in the field and marked with survey ribbon labeled with the appropriate plot number. A trail between sample plot points was also flagged with survey ribbon for ease in locating each plot during bird censuses.

In accordance with CA FIDS requirements, three diurnal and two nocturnal FIDS censuses were conducted within the site between May 25 and June 30. Diurnal FIDS censuses began one half hour before sunrise and were completed before 0900 hours. Counts of all birds seen or heard over a 10-minute time period from each census plot were recorded onto field forms. Notes were also taken on any breeding behaviors observed. Following the diurnal censuses, the forest habitat was canvassed for a couple of hours to determine the breeding status of any observed FIDS. Nocturnal censuses were conducted once during pre-dawn and once after dusk. These censuses were conducted by using tape playback of nocturnal FIDS and listening for a response by the birds. Under CA regulations, FIDS habitat is presumed if at least four FIDS are determined to have either a probable or confirmed breeding status or at least one of the highly area sensitive FIDS is determined to have either a probable or confirmed breeding status. For the Marley Neck project, seven species of FIDS were detected during either censuses or canvassing, but only three species of FIDS were determined to have a probable or confirmed breeding status. Therefore, the Marley Neck properties was not considered to be FIDS habitat. A report was prepared that summarizes the results of the FIDS diurnal and nocturnal censuses and canvassing. The report also included mapping, which showed the location of census plots and FIDS detected during censuses and canvassing, and the completed census field forms.