The Area Search is a quantitative, habitat specific survey method that is widely applicable in most habitats. It is useful for diversity measurements such as species richness, bird community composition, and relative abundance; as well as providing simple avian-habitat relationship, natural history and reproductive information. The method is also well suited for public education and training of observers.
KBO incorporates the Area Search survey method in three data types:
- To augment the capture data at constant effort banding stations
- Fall migration monitoring at breeding season Point Count stations
- Citizen science monitoring efforts
The method involves a time-constrained survey of a defined area, during which the observer records all birds seen or heard, differentiating those detected inside, outside, and flying over the search area. Vegetation surveys, using a relevé method, are conducted in search areas.