Something for the weekend? Examining the bias in avian phenological recording

Sparks, Tim H.; Huber, Kerstin; Tryjanowski, Piotr. 2008 Something for the weekend? Examining the bias in avian phenological recording. International Journal of Biometeorology, 52 (6). 505-510.

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In this paper we examine the bias towards weekend recording (the weekend effect) in volunteer phenology, using over 14,000 bird migration phenological observations from eight locations in the UK as a data source. Data from 45 bird species were used. Overall, 44% of all records were taken at weekends in contrast to the 28.6% (i.e. two out of seven days) that would be expected if records were evenly spread throughout the week. Whilst there is documented evidence of environmental differences at weekends, particularly in large urban areas, we believe the weekend effect is mostly a consequence of greater recorder effort at weekends. Some birds, likely to be obvious by their behaviour or abundance, had fewer weekend records than the remaining species. The weekend effect, to some extent, differed between locations and between seasons. There was some evidence that, particularly in autumn, the weekend bias may be lessening. If so, this will increase the accuracy of phenological records, making the detection of changes and responses to temperature easier.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: CEH Programmes pre-2009 publications > Biodiversity > CC01A Detection and Attribution of Change in UK and European Ecosystems > CC01.3 UK Phenology Network
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Pywell
ISSN: 0020-7128
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: The original publication is available at
Additional Keywords: Autumn, Detectability, Migration, Phenology, Spring
NORA Subject Terms: Zoology
Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 16 Jul 2008 12:31 +0 (UTC)

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