Apr 14 2013

Fantail Monitoring

FantailThe results of our fantail monitoring show we started the season with 14 pairs and one single. Six months later after a long dry summer we had 15 pairs and 3 singles. The slight increase suggests that at least a few pairs successfully fledged young during the season.

Fantail monitoring is another method of checking how good our trapping effort is, technically referred to as non-target impact monitoring.
This first seasons data sets a benchmark from which future comparisons can be made, and the longer we do this the more value the data has.
To explain, as a benchmark we don’t yet know whether the variation between spring and autumn is “normal” or whether 14 pairs is “typical” density for the springs area, but once we’ve counted at the same time of year for a few years then we’ll start to see trends and hopefully we’ll see an increase as we reduce the numbers of predators.
At minimum, this seasons data shows that we have at least maintained the status quo, if not enabled some successful breeding to take place. However, fantail numbers can fluctuate considerably from year to year depending on how severe the winter is. Young birds often succumb to the cold, so the number of pairs present at the start of next season (September 2013) should really tell us something.
Keep up the great work! – Kerry