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North American Breeding Bird Survey Dataset 1966 - 2019, version 2019.0

June 23, 2020

The 1966-2018 North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) dataset contains avian point count data for more than 700 North American bird taxa (species, races, and unidentified species groupings). These data are collected annually during the breeding season, primarily in June, along thousands of randomly established roadside survey routes in the United States and Canada. Routes are roughly 24.5 miles (39.2 km) long with counting locations placed at approximately half-mile (800-m) intervals, for a total of 50 stops. At each stop, a citizen scientist highly skilled in avian identification conducts a 3-minute point count, recording every bird seen or heard within a quarter-mile (400-m) radius. Surveys begin 30 minutes before local sunrise and take approximately 5 hours to complete. Routes are sampled once per year, with the total number of routes sampled per year growing over time; just over 500 routes were sampled in 1966, while in recent decades approximately 3000 routes have been sampled annually. In addition to avian count data, this dataset also contains survey date, survey start and end times, start and end weather conditions, a unique observer identification number, route identification information, and route location information including country, state, and BCR, as well as geographic coordinates of route start point, and an indicator of run data quality.