Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): E.H. Dunn; C. John Ralph
    Date: 2004
    Source: Studies in Avian Biology 29:1?6
    Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
    PDF: Download Publication  (39 KB)


    Mist nets are an important tool for population monitoring, here defi ned as assessment of species composition, relative abundance, population size, and demography. We review the strengths and limitations of mist netting for monitoring purposes, based on papers in this volume and other literature. Advantages of using mist nets over aural or visual count methods include ease of standardized sampling, low observer bias, ability to detect species that are often missed using other count methods, and opportunity to examine birds in the hand (providing information on condition, age, sex, and capture history). The primary limitation of mist netting, in common with most other survey methods, is from potential bias in sampling. However, there are many approaches to reducing or adjusting for bias, including standardization of netting methods, combining mist-net sampling with other survey types, and using mark?recapture techniques. Mist netting is an essential tool for species inventory, provides useful indices of relative abundance, and can be used to track temporal trends in abundance. It is also one of the most efficient methods of capture for mark?recapture studies.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Dunn, E.H.; Ralph, C. John. 2004. The use of mist nets as a tool for bird population monitoring. Studies in Avian Biology 29:1?6


    mark?recapture, mist net, population monitoring, sampling bias

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page