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 the training of observers.
KBO incorporates this survey method in three data types:
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.