Breeding Bird Survey

monitoring the health of our summer species

photo by Joel Jorgensen
© Joel Jorgensen
The Breeding Bird Survey began in 1966 and is conducted each June to collect data over time on the health of breeding populations across the United States and Canada.  The 25-mile designated route is run beginning promptly one-half hour before sunrise.  Surveyors stop for three minutes every half mile and record everything seen and heard at that stop.

To be a participant one must be able to identify the birds of the area by sight and especially by song since most of individuals counted will be singing males at this height of the breeding season.

Data collected from observers, including weather conditions as well as species counts, is analyzed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Canadian Wildlife Service, and other biologists such as those working with Partners in Flight.  The data from these surveys is the basis for many avian conservation reports such as the State of the Birds report.