North American Breeding Bird Survey

Science Center Objects

The North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) is the primary source for critical quantitative data to evaluate the status of continental bird species, keeping common birds common and helping fuel a $75 billion wildlife watching industry.  Each year thousands of citizen scientists skilled in avian identification collect data on BBS routes throughout North America allowing us to better understand bird population changes and manage them.  The USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research CenterEnvironment and Climate Change Canada, and the Mexican National Commission for the Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity jointly coordinate the program, which provides reliable population data and trend analyses on more than 500 bird species.




Participate in the Survey - Each spring over 2500 skilled amateur birders and professional biologists volunteer to participate in the North American BBS. We are always looking for highly skilled birders to join the team.

Get Raw Data - Search and download raw data results


Evening Grosbeak with Trend Map

Evening Grosbeak with BBS Trend Map (Credit: Mikey Lutmerding, USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. Public domain.)




BBS Analysis - The North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) Summary and Analysis Website provides summary information on population change for >500 species of North American birds.  The BBS provides data from 1966 for the contiguous United States and southern Canada (the “core” area), and the scope of inference expanded in 1993 to include additional regions in northern Canada and Alaska (the “expanded” area).  The website provides geographic displays and quantitative information on population trend (interval-specific yearly percentage changes) and annual indices of abundance for each species at several geographic scales, including survey-wide, states and Provinces, Bird Conservation Regions (physiographic strata), and for individual survey routes in the United States.  Custom analyses of population change allow of analysis of change for any combination of years over which the survey was conducted.

BBS Bird ID - The Bird Identification Infocenter is a collection of breeding and wintering distribution maps derived from North American Breeding Bird Survey and Christmas Bird Count data.  Along with maps, images, song and call recordings, and life history information are provided for species encountered along BBS and CBC surveys.

Patuxent Bird Quiz - The Bird Identification Quiz was developed to allow users to test themselves on visual and aural identification of birds likely to be seen on North American Breeding Bird Surveys and Christmas Bird Counts.  We also include a quiz in which users get to test their knowledge of wintering and breeding distributions of North American Birds.




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