Status and Trends

BBS: North American Breeding Bird Survey

Managing Avian Biodiversity in a Changing World

With 2015 marking its 50th anniversary, the BBS continues to provide critical science-based estimates of population change on more than 600 continental bird species annually to improve our understanding of how these federally entrusted species respond to environmental variation and ecosystem change.

The BBS is managed by USGS in partnership with the Canadian Wildlife Service and Mexican National Commission for the Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity, and relies on trained volunteer observers, or “citizen scientists,” to collect bird-count data in a statistically robust national sample framework.

BBS data have already contributed to hundreds of peer-reviewed publications, and are critical to inform wildlife managers of significant changes in bird population levels.

Featured Publications

American woodcock migratory connectivity as indicated by hydrogen isotopes

Flexible risk metrics for identifying and monitoring conservation-priority species

Toward a mechanistic understanding of human-induced rapid environmental change: A case study linking energy development, avian nest predation, and predators

First satellite tracks of the Endangered black-capped petrel


Top Photo: Least tern chick at Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge. Photo courtesy of Brian Rudinsky, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.