[CT Birds] mockingbird trends

Roy Harvey rmharvey at snet.net
Mon Mar 26 22:23:00 EDT 2012

Chris & Chris,

Neat stuff!

One thing I did not understand, and found confusing, was the (year?) 1966 written on the left graph, lower left corner.  I suspect it was supposed to increment, and so range up to 2009 or so, but for me at least it just stayed 1966 all the time.  I am using FireFox, latest version, but on a really slow and balky DSL link., for what that is worth.

Good birding!


--- On Mon, 3/26/12, Chris Elphick <elphick at sbcglobal.net> wrote:

> From: Chris Elphick <elphick at sbcglobal.net>
> Subject: [CT Birds] mockingbird trends
> To: ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org
> Cc: chrisfield22 at gmail.com, chris.elphick at uconn.edu
> Date: Monday, March 26, 2012, 6:23 PM
> As a few people on this list, Chris
> Field and I (by which I mean "mostly Chris, 
> with the occasional word of encouragement from me") have
> been working on a 
> project to better describe the trends of Connecticut's
> birds.  The effort has 
> partly involved expanded analysis of existing data sets,
> such as the counts 
> available from Breeding Bird Survey routes - but analyses of
> those data already 
> exist and our version has, at best, minor analytical
> improvements.  The main 
> focus has been on developing better ways of illustrating the
> data so that a wide 
> variety of users - not just geeky scientists - can see what
> is going on.  
> Given the discussion about mockingbirds at the end of last
> week, I asked Chris 
> if he could post the mockingbird results on-line.  If
> you click on the link 
> below you will see two animated graphs.  As the
> animation runs, the one on the 
> right (with the photo in the background) will plot the trend
> over time from the 
> mid-60s to 2009.  You'll see that numbers start really
> low, increase to a peak 
> in the early 90s, and have declined since then.  This
> is a similar pattern to 
> that in the CBC data posted last week.
> If you look at the animation on the left, you will see that
> it starts with a 
> grey horizontal line, which shows the average number of
> birds seen on a route 
> when the survey began in the mid-60s.  As the animation
> proceeds a blue line 
> bounces up and down, showing how the average changes from
> year to year - this 
> mirrors the blue dot on the trend line of the other
> animation.  
> You'll also see a bunch of black bars going up and down -
> these are the 
> individual counts on each survey route (one bar per route)
> and illustrate just 
> how much variation there is from place to place within the
> state as well as from 
> year to year (and note that a BBS route involves multiple
> points over quite a 
> large area - so data from individual points would be even
> more variable).  The 
> inclusion of these individual routes, and the variation they
> illustrate, shows 
> why you can't just take counts from one location (e.g., my
> yard) and use them to 
> draw general conclusions about regional patterns.
> If you want to stop the animation there is a play/stop
> button bottom left.  You 
> can also modify the speed with the button bottom
> right.  The link is:
> www.ctbirdtrends.org/mockingbird.html
> Finally, many thanks to Mark Szantyr, for use of his (as
> always) killer 
> mockingbird photo.
> Chris
>  Chris Elphick
> Storrs, CT
> elphick at sbcglobal.net
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