Spot mapping is a survey method that is used to literally map a bird’s territory. Spot mapping is relatively intensive, so a typical survey is limited to four to eight bird species. During a survey, individuals are mapped and their activity, movements, and interactions are noted. At the end of the season, after eight to ten surveys, an individual bird’s territory can be delineated. Such data can be used to determine bird density.
In addition, this survey method is often used in conjunction with nest searching and behavioral observation, because understanding a bird’s territory allows the surveyor to locate nests and observe nesting behavior more efficiently.