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North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS)
Entry ID: brdpwrc0004


Summary
Abstract: The North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS), which is coordinated by
the Biological Resources Division and Canadian Wildlife Service, is a
primary source of population trend and distribution information for
most species of North American birds. The BBS was initiated during
1966 by Chan Robbins and his associates at the Patuxent Wildlife
Research Center to monitor the populations of all breeding bird
species across the continental U.S., Canada, and Alaska.
Approximately 2200 skilled observers participate in the survey each
year. The BBS has accumulated 30 years of data on the abundance,
distribution, and trends for more than 400 species of birds. These
data are widely used by researchers, various federal and state
agencies, non-governmental organizations, and the general public.
Analyses of BBS data by PWRC statisticians have been instrumental in
the development of innovative approaches for analyzing trends of
wildlife populations.

Geographic Description:

Continental U.S., Canada, Alaska, with spotty coverage in Alaska
and northern half of Canada. A few routes have been recently
established in northern Mexico.


Purpose: In the 1960's, chlorinated hydrocarbon pesticides and similar poisons
were widely used to control insect populations. Pesticide spraying
not only killed insects but also killed birds, raising serious
concerns over its effects on bird population trends. Unfortunately,
no long-term regional or continental population data were available
for most bird species, making it difficult for birders to demonstrate
declines in bird populations. The Bird Breeding Survey has proven to
be a valuable source of information on bird population trends.
Robbins et al. (1986) provided the first continental relative
abundance maps for various songbirds based on BBS data. When viewed at
continental or regional scales, these maps provide a reasonably good
indication of the relative abundance of species that are well sampled
by the BBS. In addition, the BBS is a good source of information on
temporal patterns in trends. Populations of permanent resident and
short-distance migrant (birds wintering primarily in the U.S. and
Canada) species may be adversely affected by episodes of unseasonal
weather. The extent of any declines in a particular bird population
is known after the data is analyzed. The BBS is also a good source of
geographic patterns in trends. Few species have consistent trends
across their entire ranges, so geographic patterns in trends are of
considerable interest to anyone concerned with the status of the
continent's birds. With the use of a Geographic Information System,
route-specific trends are smoothed to produce geographic patterns that
are not based on political boundaries or physiographic strata. These
analyses allow identification of regions of increase and decline.
Once these regions have been pinpointed, researchers can undertake
studies that will allow them to identify the factors responsible for
the population trends.

This description is a member of a collection. Click to see members of this collection.

Geographic Coverage
 N: 75.0 S: 20.0  E: -50.0  W: -165.0

Data Set Citation
Dataset Originator/Creator: Patuxent Wildlife Research Center Biological Resources Division U.S. Geological Survey ;
Dataset Title: North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS)
Dataset Release Date: 1997
Dataset Release Place: Laurel, MD
Dataset Publisher: Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, BRD, USGS.
Online Resource: http://www.pwrc.usgs.gov/BBS/


Temporal Coverage
Start Date: 1966-01-01


Location Keywords
CONTINENT > NORTH AMERICA > MEXICO
CONTINENT > NORTH AMERICA > CANADA
CONTINENT > NORTH AMERICA
CONTINENT > NORTH AMERICA > UNITED STATES OF AMERICA > ALASKA


Science Keywords
BIOLOGICAL CLASSIFICATION >ANIMALS/VERTEBRATES >BIRDS    [Definition]
BIOSPHERE >ECOLOGICAL DYNAMICS >SPECIES/POPULATION INTERACTIONS >POPULATION DYNAMICS    [Definition]


ISO Topic Category
BIOTA


Quality
In the early years, the data set had 500-600 routes. There are now more
than 3000 routes. These routes are checked manually and computer
edits performed. However, when there were only 500 routes, this was
easier to accomplish. The computer performs edits for computational
errors, species range errors. Print outs are sent back to original
observer to verify.


Access Constraints
Contact Bruce Peterjohn of the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
Breeding Bird Office to acquire raw data. All of the trend information
can be retrieved from BBS web site: http://www.pwrc.usgs.gov/BBS/


Use Constraints
None


Keywords
ABUNDANCE
ALASKA
ANIMALIA
AVES
BIRDS
BREEDING BIRD SURVEY
BREEDING BIRDS
CANADA
CHORDATA
COUNTS
DISTRIBUTION
ESTIMATING EQUATION
MEXICO
NORTH AMERICA
NORTH AMERICAN BREEDING BIRDS
POPULATION CHANGE
POPULATION TREND
RELATIVE ABUNDANCE
ROUTE-REGRESSION
SURVEYS
TRENDS
UNITED STATES


Data Set Progress
COMPLETE


Originating Center
USGS/BRD/PATUXENT/BBS


Data Center
North American Breeding Bird Survey, Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Biological Resources Division, USGS, U.S. Department of the Interior    [Information]
Data Center URL: http://www.pwrc.usgs.gov/BBS/

Data Center Personnel
Name: BRUCE PETERJOHN
Phone: 301-497-5841
Fax: 301-497-5784
Email: bruce_peterjohn at nbs.gov
Contact Address:
Bird Breeding Survey
Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
Biological Resources Division
U.S. Geological Survey
12100 Beech Forest Road
City: Laurel
Province or State: MD
Postal Code: 20708
Country: USA


Personnel
BRUCE PETERJOHN
Role: TECHNICAL CONTACT
Phone: 301-497-5841
Fax: 301-497-5784
Email: bruce_peterjohn at nbs.gov
Contact Address:
Bird Breeding Survey
Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
Biological Resources Division
U.S. Geological Survey
12100 Beech Forest Road
City: Laurel
Province or State: MD
Postal Code: 20708
Country: USA


TYLER B. STEVENS
Role: DIF AUTHOR
Phone: (301) 614-6898
Fax: 301-614-5268
Email: Tyler.B.Stevens at nasa.gov
Contact Address:
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Global Change Master Directory
City: Greenbelt
Province or State: MD
Postal Code: 20771
Country: USA


Publications/References
Citation Information:
Originator: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service U.S. Department of the Interior
Publication Date: 1966-1990

Title: North American Breeding Bird Survey Annual Summary
Publication Information:
Publication Place: Washington, D.C.
Publisher: Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Department of the Interior
Citation Information:
Originator: Fish and Wildlife Service U.S. Department of the Interior
Publication Date: 1986

Title: The Breeding Bird Survey: Its First Fifteen Years 1965-1979
Edition: Resource Publication 157
Publication Information:
Publication Place: Washington, D.C.
Publisher: Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Department of the Interior
Citation Information:
Originator: Patuxent Environmental Science Center National
Biological Service Department of the Interior
Publication Date: 1994-12

Title: The North American Breeding Bird Survey
Series Information:
Series Name: Journal of the American Birding Association
Issue Identification: 26:6
Citation Information:
Originator: National Biological Service Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
Publication Date: 1994

Title: Estimating equations estimates of trends.
Series Information:
Series Name: Bird Populations
Issue Identification: 2:23-32
Publication Information:
Publication Place: Laurel, MD
Publisher: Patuxent Wildlife Research Center

Creation and Review Dates
Last DIF Revision Date: 2016-11-18



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