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Dike 14-Doan Brook IBA: Avian Survey Project

Monitoring Protocol
Systematic Bird Species Monitoring at Cleveland Lakefront Nature Preserve
Western Cuyahoga Audubon Society, Kirtland Bird Club, Audubon Society of Great Cleveland
Revised 16 March 2015
Overview
In 2000, the National Audubon Society designated Cleveland Lakefront Nature Preserve (CLNP), also
known as Dike 14, as an Important Bird Area because the area provides essential habitat for migratory,
breeding, and wintering birds. CLNP is located at the intersection of four migratory bird routes: Lake
Erie, the Lake Erie shoreline, the Cuyahoga River Valley, and the Doan Brook Valley. Over time, its
diverse habitats have sustained 280 species of birds, 41 species of butterflies, and many mammals.
In 2012 the Cleveland-Cuyahoga Port Authority changed the areas name from Dike 14 to Cleveland
Lakefront Nature Preserve and opened CLNP to the public. In 2014, Western Cuyahoga Audubon
Society, Kirtland Bird Club, and the Audubon Society of Greater Cleveland adopted CLNP as a site for
on-going monitoring of bird activity and initiated this Avian Survey Project.
The Avian Survey Project has been developed in coordination with Black Swamp Bird Observatory.
Data are collected according to standardized protocols so that they can be compared to data collected at
other research stations in the region and will provide valid long-term monitoring. This document
describes the monitoring protocols for the site.
Procedures
Overview: Two basic methods are used to survey avian activity at CLNP: point counts and a daily
checklist. Point counts are performed at a series of 17 fixed points at the site. The observer(s) records
all birds seen or heard during a 5 minute count at each designated point. The daily checklist consists of
a list of all birds seen or heard while the observer is at CLNP, whether or not the bird is observed
during a point count.
Point Locations: The attached map shows the 17 point count locations. Count locations were
established to monitor each of the different habitats at the site and to provide a thorough, nonoverlapping survey. All points are located on the existing trails. Each point is marked by a green metal
post, with the point number indicated on the post. Posts usually have brightly-colored flagging
attached, but flagging may be missing some of the time. Descriptions of the point locations and GPS
coordinates for the points are included on the attached point location table.
Ideally, all points should be surveyed by some observer during every survey. Points may be surveyed
in any order. If it is not possible to survey all points on a given day, observers are encouraged to
conduct partial surveys. There are two defined half routes that may be surveyed (see below), or the
observer may survey any subset of points.
The defined half routes are as follows: The West Route consists of Points 1-10. The East Route
consists of Points 1-3, 6, and 10-17. Note that these two routes overlap at points 1-3 , 6, and 10. Teams
that use these routes to split up for the survey should either survey these points together or agree upon
which team will survey the overlapping points.

Dike 14-Doan Brook IBA: Avian Survey Project


Monitoring Protocol
Revised 16 March 2015
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Observers: We ask that at least one observer from each party have a good knowledge of the appearance
and songs of the birds that may be observed. Any number of observers may participate in point counts
and in preparing the daily checklist. All observers must sign the attached release form in order to
submit data.
Note that that observers are responsible for their own personal safety during the survey. Neither the
Cleveland-Cuyahoga Port Authority, the Cleveland Metroparks, Kirtland Bird Club, Western
Cuyahoga Audubon Society, Audubon Society of Greater Cleveland, nor any other entity or individual
accepts any responsibility for observer safety. In an emergency, dial 911 or contact the Cleveland
Metroparks Ranger Department emergency number 440-333-4911 (non-emergency number 440-3315530). Note that CLNP is not part of Cleveland Metroparks. However, some Metroparks Rangers are
stationed at the Metroparks building at the entrance to CLNP.
Survey Timing: Sunrise is the best time to perform the point counts, and every attempt should be made
to conduct the surveys at or near sunrise. However, a survey may be run at any time of day when a
sunrise survey is not possible. When possible, conduct counts in good weather, avoiding days with
more than very light rain or wind greater than 10 mph. Note, however, that more data are better than
fewer data if you can only make it to CLNP on a single day and want to do a survey, do it regardless
of the weather and the time of day!
Regardless of when you plan to survey, please sign up for your survey time using the CLNP Survey
Google Calendar1 or let Laura Gooch know when you plan to be at the site (lgooch@alum.mit.edu,
216-932-1002). You may view the calendar online at http://www.wcasohio.org/1_Stage/preserve/14clnp-surveys2 if you wish to check when surveys are being done by others without logging in to your
own calendar. Your help with entering your times into the calendar will allow us to make sure that we
have enough survey coverage, and it will allow you to make your survey effort count by avoiding
double coverage when possible. You can survey at the same time as another surveyor if that is the only
time that fits your schedule, but you may want to coordinate with them.
Point Count Protocol:
At each point, count all birds seen or heard during a five minute uninterrupted period,
beginning as soon as you arrive at the point.
If you cannot avoid being interrupted, you may stop the count timer and resume the time when
the interruption has passed.
For each bird observed, note age and sex if possible, as long as noting this does not distract you
from your overall count.
Note any breeding behaviors you observe if you can do so without having this distract you from
your overall count. See the attached Ohio Breeding Bird Atlas (OBBA) codes for breeding
1

Instructions for using the Google Calendar are available on request.

Dike 14-Doan Brook IBA: Avian Survey Project


Monitoring Protocol
Revised 16 March 2015
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behavior information. You do not need to note the low-level behaviors shown in blue on the
code sheet (e.g.: counter-singing or presence during safe dates) unless the species is an unusual
breeding bird for CLNP.
If you cannot identify a bird as to species, identify it to the lowest taxonomic level possible and
note it as such (e.g. woodpecker sp. or warbler sp.).
Count birds flushed within 50 m of the point as you approach as being at the point. If you do
not see the bird again during the count, note this.
If you observe a flock during the count, you may follow it for a short time (less than 5 minutes)
after the count to determine its size and composition.
If there are large flocks of birds on the lake, you may wish to estimate flock size after your
main count is over. If you do this, be sure to only include birds that you saw during the count
period. Remember that CLNP itself is the main focus of this survey. Avoid being too distracted
by activity on the lake, and only count birds on the lake that are identifiable by binoculars and
within a few hundred meters of CLNP.
If a bird gives an unknown song or call during a count, you may attempt to track it down after
the count for identification.
Do not re-count birds seen or heard at one point and then seen again at another point. For
example, if a Red-tailed Hawk is circling over the area, you might see the bird at several points.
Count it only once. When in doubt, count the bird twice and note that you think it might be the
same individual.
Record birds that are flying over the area, rather than occupying the site itself, as flybys. If
you see a bird that typically uses the habitat overhead and you think its just moving around the
area (rather than passing by), you should not record it as a flyby. If you have some birds of a
given species that you think are flybys and some that you think are resident, you can make two
entries for the species at the point with appropriate notations.
Record birds that are on the lake, rather than at the site itself, as lake. See additional notes
from the bullet above for further information. As mentioned above, limit your count of birds on
the lake to those that are within binocular ID range.
Indicate birds that you see at the site but outside the fence line (and not on the lake) with a note
to that effect. Limit your count of birds outside CLNP to those within about 100 meters of
CLNP.
Do not use anything to attract birds or otherwise distort the count. You may pish or use other
means to attract and identify unknown birds if you saw or heard them during the count, but not
until after the count interval is over.
Note birds that you see while you are at CLNP, but that are not observed during any point
count, for inclusion on the daily checklist.

Dike 14-Doan Brook IBA: Avian Survey Project


Monitoring Protocol
Revised 16 March 2015
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Move fairly briskly from point to point. Do not spend too much time during the survey trying to
identify unknown species. You may return to a point after all points have been surveyed to
further investigate a bird if necessary.
Record all data on the attached field form. The field data forms are also included in the data
entry spreadsheet. There are three different version of the form: Concise, which does not
include columns for notes and has space for three points on each page, Concise Slow Day,
which has space for fewer species at each point and is generally suitable for use during the
winter, and Expanded, which includes a column for notes and has space for only two points on
each page. You may use any version.
Data Submittal: Enter point count and checklist data for each survey in the CLNP data entry Excel
workbook. If you need a copy of the Excel file, contact Laura Gooch at lgooch@alum.mit.edu;
telephone 216-932-1002. Instructions for data entry are included in the spreadsheet. Submit the
completed Excel spreadsheet (the whole workbook, with instructions, etc.) to Laura at that email
address. If you do not wish to enter the data yourself, you may submit your paper or scanned forms to
Dick Hoffman at oldrah@gmail.com; telephone 216-932-0877.
If possible, also scan and submit electronic copies of your field forms to Laura when you submit your
electronic data. If you do not wish to scan your field forms, please retain them for at least a year so that
we can refer to them if questions about your observations arise.
Please submit your data as soon as possible after you survey, preferably within a week. Your effort
will be most valuable and well have better data quality if you do!
Rarities: If you think you have seen or heard a rare bird, do your best to document your sighting with
either a photograph or a recording. Make good notes about the sighting. Contact other observers to
verify your sighting if you think it is appropriate. For more information about documenting rare birds,
see the Ohio Ornithological Society web page: http://www.ohiobirds.org/site/committee/rarebird.php
Resources
Song Learning:

Birding by Ear: Eastern/Central (Peterson Field Guides) Audio CD. Richard K. Walton
and Robert W. Lawson. Edited by Roger Tory Peterson This is a very good introduction to
learning bird songs.
Stokes Field Guide to Bird Songs: Easter Region Audio CD. Donald and Lillian Stokes
and Lang Elliot This is a fairly complete set of songs with more variations than most
collections.
Phone aps from iBirdPro, Sibley, etc.
Larkwire.com Excellent program for song learning and for improving song recognition.

Dike 14-Doan Brook IBA: Avian Survey Project


Monitoring Protocol
Revised 16 March 2015
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Ohio Breeding Bird Atlas: http://www.ohiobirds.org/obba2/newsite/


Ohio Ornithological Society: http://www.ohiobirds.org/site/index.php
Kirtland Bird Club: http://kirtlandbirdclub.org/
Western Cuyahoga Audubon Society: http://wcasohio.org/
CLNP Surveys Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/CitizenScienseDike14?ref_type=bookmark

Four Letter Codes:


Four letter codes for bird species expected at the site (for data entry and for your use on the data forms
if you like) are included in the data entry spreadsheet.

Dike 14-Doan Brook IBA: Avian Survey Project


Monitoring Protocol
Revised 16 March 2015
Page 6 of 17
Count Point Location Map Revised 16 March 2015

Dike 14-Doan Brook IBA: Avian Survey Project


Monitoring Protocol
Revised 16 March 2015
Page 7 of 17
Point Count Locations Revised 16 March 2015
Point

Latitude

Longitude

Elevation (m)

CLNP01
CLNP02
CLNP03

41.54265
41.54211
41.54162

-81.6295
-81.631
-81.6326

186.1
186.4
185.7

CLNP04-2015

41.54329

-81.63229

182

CLNP05-2015

41.54420

-81.63062

184

CLNP06-2015

41.54344

-81.63399

185

CLNP07
CLNP08

41.54288
41.54273

-81.636
-81.6381

186.4
187.8

CLNP09

41.54453

-81.6367

186.1

CLNP10

41.54454

-81.6347

187.3

CLNP11

41.54572

-81.6359

184.9

CLNP12

41.54723

-81.6346

184.9

CLNP13

41.54787

-81.6322

185.9

CLNP14

41.5455

-81.631

185.4

CLNP15

41.54651

-81.6303

186.6

CLNP16

41.5452

-81.6289

186.6

CLNP17

41.54364

-81.6278

185.2

Point Description
Just across the bridge at the entrance by the trail
marker post.
North (right) side of trail opposite grove of trees.
West (left) side of trail at bend to north.
On right side of Northern Harrier trail about 15 m
before mile post 0.1 (east bound) at southeast
corner of sparrow field.
On right side of Northern Harrier trail about 10 m
before mile post 0.2 (east bound).
At intersection of paths in the sparrow field next to
Loop Trail mile post 0.4 (north bound).
Right side of Perimeter Loop Trail about 25 m
before of milepost 0.5/1.1.
At the "beak" (farthest NW point of the site.
North (left side) of trail along the NW side of the
Perimeter Loop Trail.
On interior trail, left side of trail near a large willow
and just before the trail marker.
South (right) side of trail along the NW side of the
Perimeter Loop Trail. Short distance past bench.
South (right) side of trail along the NW side of the
Perimeter Loop Trail. Just past bench.
Lake edge at the intersection of the Perimeter Loop
Trail and the Northern Harrier Trail
North (left) side of trail at "Northern Harrier Trail"
mile post 0.3
East (left) side of trail along the E side of the
Perimeter Loop Trail. Between mile 1.2 and bench.
East (left) side of trail along the E side of the
Perimeter Loop Trail
At base of stairs by Perimeter Loop Trail milepost
1.5/0.1.

Dike 14-Doan Brook IBA: Avian Survey Project


Monitoring Protocol
Revised 16 March 2015
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Waiver and Release of all Claims for Use of the Cleveland


Lakefront Nature Preserve
WAIVER AND RELEASE OF ALL CLAIMS: I have read this form carefully, and am aware that
by participating in an on-going research project sponsored by the Western Cuyahoga Audubon
Society, Audubon Society of Greater Cleveland and Kirtland Bird Club (the Project) and by my
use of and access to the Cleveland Lakefront Nature Preserve (the Preserve), I am WAIVING and
RELEASING all claims for myself, and my heirs and legal representatives, arising out of such use
and participation. In consideration of the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authoritys (the Port
Authority) permission to participate in the Project and by my use of and access to the Preserve, I
hereby agree as follows:

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT AND ASSUMPTION OF RISK OR INJURY AND LOSS: I have fully informed
Project and have received satisfactory answers to all of my questions I have concerning the Project. I hereby agree t
and all injuries and of any and all property loss and of all expenses, costs, damages and losses that I may sustain as a
activities connected with or associated with the Project or my use of the Preserve.
WAIVER AND RELEASE OF CLAIMS: I hereby agree to, and do, waive release and relinquish
all claims, demands, rights of action, damages, liabilities and controversies of every kind, known and
unknown, present and future, that I may have against the Port Authority and its officers, agents,
servants, employees, insurers, related or affiliated individuals or entities, successors and assign
arising out of, connected with, or in any way related to the Project or my use of the Preserve.
INDEMNITY AND DEFENSE: I hereby further agree to indemnify and hold harmless and defend
the Port Authority and its officers, agents, servants, employees, insurers, related or affiliated
individuals or entities, successors and assigns from any and all claims, lawsuits, demands, damages,
liabilities, losses and expenses, including attorney's fees and administrative expenses, of every kind,
known and unknown, present and future, arising out of, connected with, or in any way related to my
participation in the Program or use of the Preserve.
I have read and fully understand the above WAIVER & RELEASE OF ALL CLAIMS and
execute it of my own free will and without any reservation whatsoever.
__________________________________________________
Print Name and address:______________________________
_______________________________
_______________________________
Date: __________________________

Dike 14-Doan Brook IBA: Avian Survey Project


Monitoring Protocol
Revised 16 March 2015
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Cleveland Lakefront Nature Preserve/Dike 14 - Avian Survey Project


Bird Survey Data Entry Form - OBBA Codes
OBBACode

Code Definition

Code Type

heard or seen within safe dates2, but NOT in suitable breeding habitat3

Observed

OS

heard or seen within safe dates and in suitable breeding habitat

Possible

PO

mated pair seen within safe dates and in suitable breeding habitat

Probable

T1

territorial behavior (counter singing, territorial singing, woodpecker drumming, malemale chases, etc.). Note that in this database this code will be used for territorial
behavior at any location. If it is noted at the same point 7 days apart, it should be
upgraded to T7 for entry into the OBBA database.

Probable

T7

singing male at same location 7 or more days apart

Probable

AB

agitated behavior and/or anxiety calls from adult

Probable

CC

courtship displays or copulation

Probable

VS

visiting probable nest site, or nest building by wrens, woodpeckers, kingfisher,


chickadees, titmice

Probable

UN

used nest (inactive nests; must be readily identifiable)

Confirmed

CM

adult carrying material for nest (nest not seen)

Confirmed

NB

nest building observed (nest seen)

Confirmed

DD

distraction display/behavior; broken wing display or dive-bombing humans

Confirmed

PE

gravid condition or highly vascularized brood-patch (bird banders only)

Confirmed

CF

adult carrying food or fecal sac

Confirmed

ON

occupied nest; nest attended by adult(s), but contents not visible

Confirmed

NE

nest with eggs

Confirmed

NY

nest with nestlings

Confirmed

FY

recently fledged young, incapable of sustained flight

Confirmed

CU

confirmed, OBBA code not specified - NOT AN OBBA CODE

Confirmed

MI

migrant species - NOT AN OBBA CODE

Refer to the attached field checklist of Ohio breeding birds from the Ohio Breeding Bird Atlas II for safe dates for each
species.
3
For the purpose of the CLNP Avian Survey, you do not need to specifically note the behaviors shown in blue except for
unusual species.

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Grasshopper Sparrow - 1R
Henslow's Sparrow - 2
Song Sparrow - 1
Swamp Sparrow - 1R
White-throated Sparrow - 3
Dark-eyed Junco - 3
Northern Cardinal - 1
Rose-breasted Grosbeak - 1R
Blue Grosbeak - 2
Indigo Bunting - 1
Dickcissel - 1R
Bobolink - 2
Red-winged Blackbird - 1
Eastern Meadowlark - 1
Western Meadowlark - 3
Yellow-headed Blackbird - 3
Common Grackle - 1
Brown-headed Cowbird - 1
Orchard Oriole - 1
Baltimore Oriole - 1
Purple Finch - 2
House Finch - 1
Red Crossbill - 3
Pine Siskin - 3
American Goldfinch - 1
House Sparrow - 1

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Turkey Vulture - 1
Osprey - 3
Bald Eagle - 3
Northern Harrier - 3
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 2
Coopers Hawk - 1
Red-shouldered Hawk - 1R
Broad-winged Hawk - 1R
Red-tailed Hawk - 1
American Kestrel - 1
Peregrine Falcon - 3
King Rail - 3
Virginia Rail - 2
Sora - 2
Common Moorhen - 2
American Coot - 1R
Sandhill Crane - 3
Piping Plover - 3
Killdeer - 1
Spotted Sandpiper - 1R
Upland Sandpiper - 3
Wilsons Snipe - 3
American Woodcock - 1R

Blackburnian Warbler - 3
Yellow-throated Warbler - 1R
Pine Warbler - 1R
Prairie Warbler - 1R
Cerulean Warbler - 2
Black-and-white Warbler - 1R
American Redstart - 1R
Prothonotary Warbler - 2
Worm-eating Warbler - 1R
Ovenbird - 1
Northern Waterthrush - 3
Louisiana Waterthrush - 1R
Kentucky Warbler - 1R
Mourning Warbler - 3
Common Yellowthroat - 1
Hooded Warbler - 1R
Canada Warbler - 2
Yellow-breasted Chat - 1R
Summer Tanager - 1R
Scarlet Tanager - 1
Eastern Towhee - 1
Chipping Sparrow - 1
Clay-colored Sparrow - 3
Field Sparrow - 1
Vesper Sparrow - 1R
Lark Sparrow - 3

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Black-crowned Night-Heron - 3
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron - 3

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Belted Kingfisher - 1
Red-headed Woodpecker - 1R
Red-bellied Woodpecker - 1
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker - 3
Downy Woodpecker - 1
Hairy Woodpecker - 1
Northern Flicker - 1
Pileated Woodpecker - 1R
Eastern Wood-Pewee - 1
Acadian Flycatcher - 1
Alder Flycatcher - 2
Willow Flycatcher - 1
Least Flycatcher - 3
Eastern Phoebe - 1
Great Crested Flycatcher - 1
Eastern Kingbird - 1
Loggerhead Shrike - 3
White-eyed Vireo - 1R
Bell's Vireo - 3
Yellow-throated Vireo - 1
Blue-headed Vireo - 2
Warbling Vireo - 1
Red-eyed Vireo - 1
Blue Jay - 1
American Crow - 1
Horned Lark - 1R
Purple Martin - 1
Tree Swallow - 1
N. Rough-winged Swallow - 1
Bank Swallow - 1R
Cliff Swallow - 1R
Barn Swallow - 1
Carolina Chickadee - 1R
Black-capped Chickadee - 1R
Tufted Titmouse - 1

Ruby-throated Hummingbird - 1

American Bittern - 3
Least Bittern - 3
Great Blue Heron - 1R
Great Blue Heron Rookery- 2
Great Egret - 2
Snowy Egret - 3
Little Blue Heron - 3
Cattle Egret - 3
Green Heron - 1

Double-crested Cormorant - 1R

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Red-breasted Nuthatch - 3
White-breasted Nuthatch - 1
Brown Creeper - 2
Carolina Wren - 1
Bewick's Wren - 3
House Wren - 1
Winter Wren - 3
Sedge Wren - 2
Marsh Wren - 2
Golden-crowned Kinglet - 3
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher - 1
Eastern Bluebird - 1
Veery - 1R
Hermit Thrush - 3
Wood Thrush - 1
American Robin - 1
Gray Catbird - 1
Northern Mockingbird - 1R
Brown Thrasher - 1
European Starling - 1
Cedar Waxwing - 1
Blue-winged Warbler - 1R
Golden-winged Warbler - 3
BWWA x GWWA Hybrid - 2
Nashville Warbler - 3
Northern Parula - 1R
Yellow Warbler - 1
Chestnut-sided Warbler - 1R
Magnolia Warbler - 2

Wilson's Phalarope - 3
Laughing Gull - 3
Ring-billed Gull - 2
Herring Gull - 1R
Common Tern - 3
Black Tern - 3
Rock Pigeon - 1
Mourning Dove - 1
Black-billed Cuckoo - 1
Yellow-billed Cuckoo - 1
Barn Owl - 3
Eastern Screech-Owl - 1
Great Horned Owl - 1
Barred Owl - 1R
Long-eared Owl - 3
Short-eared Owl - 3
Northern Saw-whet Owl - 3
Common Nighthawk - 1R
Chuck-will's-widow - 2
Whip-poor-will - 1R
Chimney Swift - 1

Canada Goose - 1
Mute Swan - 1R
Trumpeter Swan - 3
Wood Duck - 1
Gadwall - 3
American Wigeon - 3
American Black Duck - 3
Mallard - 1
Blue-winged Teal - 1R
Northern Shoveler - 3
Northern Pintail - 3
Green-winged Teal - 3
Redhead - 3
Hooded Merganser - 1R
Common Merganser - 3
Ruddy Duck - 3
Ring-necked Pheasant - 1R
Ruffed Grouse - 1R
Wild Turkey - 1R
Northern Bobwhite - 2
Pied-billed Grebe - 1R

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