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Stay up-to-date on operations adjustments and temporary closure of TPWD offices, state parks, recreation facilities and water access points due to COVID-19. Please follow guidance from local authorities, Governor Greg Abbott and the Texas Department of State Health Services.


Project Prairie Birds

A Citizen Science Project for Wintering Grassland Birds

Vegetation Sampling

Long Prairie Grasses
Photo Yellow-rumped warbler Copyright Michael L. Gray

Yellow-rumped warbler
Photo Copyright Michael L. Gray

Figure 4
Measure vegetation along the same transect line where avian surveys were conducted. Toss the square (“hula-hoop”) a total of five times, once every 25 meters, as seen here.

Image showing where to measure vegetation line as described in the text above.

Image showing where to measure vegetation along the transect line where the avian surveys were conducted as described above.

Figure 5
One person should stand the board up and hold it steady in the center of the square on every toss. A second person, the observer, will walk 15 meters due north from the board, then turn and face the board.

From a kneeling position, the observer will estimate the percentage (in multiples of 10) of the board that is obstructed by vegetation. The board should have a total of four equal sections, two painted black and two painted white, in an alternating fashion. This contrast aids in determining the amount of vegetation covering the board. In the example above, the first (bottom half-meter) section is 100% obstructed by vegetation. The second section is obstructed by 80% vegetation; this is how it should be scored on the vegetation data sheet.

Image showing the Density Board Technique as described in the text above.

Image showing the Density Board Technique as described above.

For Additional Information write to:

Project Prairie Birds Program
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
4200 Smith School Road
Austin, TX 78744
or send a message to: