Author: Douglas H. Johnson
Abstract: Point counts of birds are made for many reasons, including estimating local densities, determining population trends, assessing habitat preferences, and exploiting the activities of recreational birdwatchers. Problems arise unless there is a clear understanding of what point counts mean in terms of actual populations of birds. Criteria for conducting point counts depend strongly on the purposes to which they will be put. This paper provides a simple mathematical conceptualization of point counts and illustrates graphically some of the influences on them.
More information here