Breeding Bird Survey results

Please note that the URL for the "Breeding Birds Survey results" has changed.

If you have been redirected to this page, please update your bookmarks with the new URL below:

Introduction

This website provides detailed population trend information based on data collected through the North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS), for approximately 300 Canadian bird species. The trend results presented here are Canadian trends and thus use data from Canadian BBS routes only. Results are updated annually. Trends are presented for species, provinces, territories and Bird Conservation Regions for which there are sufficient BBS data for statistical analysis.

The BBS is jointly coordinated by Environment Canada and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. Any use of these BBS results for Canada should acknowledge the hundreds of skilled volunteers in Canada who have participated in the BBS over the years and those who have served as provincial or territorial coordinators for the BBS.

Please visit the Status of Birds in Canada web site for a comprehensive assessment of the population and conservation status of most species that breed in Canada, which considers BBS results as well as results from other relevant surveys. For waterfowl, comprehensive assessments are available in the most recent report on the Population Status of Migratory Game Birds in Canada.

Changes to the analysis for 2015 results

In an effort to continually improve the population trend estimates from the BBS, some improvements have been made to the Bayesian hierarchical analysis.

For a given species, our estimates of long-term change in each region now incorporate some information from the species' data in other parts of its range. This improvement in the model results in: 1) more precise regional and national trend estimates; 2) fewer low quality and extreme trends that are biologically unlikely (e.g., extremely steep trends with exceptionally low precision); and 3) trends estimated for more species, particularly species with small Canadian distributions. This improvement also has little or no affect on estimates for regions and species with high-quality data. See BBS Statistical Methods for more detail.

For the 2015 analysis, strata were included in each species' analysis if they contain at least 3 routes on which the species has been observed, at least one of those routes that was surveyed for 5 or more years, and at least one route where the species has been observed 3 or more times. Users should note that because these minimum criteria have changed slightly, the strata included for a given species and region may have changed. In these cases, the national trend estimates may have changed because they represent a different portion of the species' population and geographic range.

Visit the BBS statistical methods page for more information on the statistical methods used to produce these trends, annual indices and credibility measures. A detailed comparison between the current Bayesian hierarchical statistical analysis and the previous analysis used to estimate trends before 2011 is freely available in the Canadian Field Naturalist (Smith et al. 2014).

View trends and annual indices

Download all trends and annual indices

Select a link below to download all Breeding Bird Survey trend results or annual indices as comma delimited text files. Note: Similar files specific to a given species or region are available for download through the 'View trends and annual indices' options above.

Please send enquiries about the Breeding Bird Survey in Canada to: ec.ron-bbs.ec@canada.ca

This web site may be cited as: Environment and Climate Change Canada, 2017. North American Breeding Bird Survey - Canadian Trends Website, Data-version 2015. Environment and Climate Change Canada, Gatineau, Quebec, K1A 0H3

Any use of these BBS results for Canada should acknowledge the hundreds of skilled volunteers in Canada who have participated in the BBS over the years and those who have served as provincial or territorial coordinators for the BBS.

Date modified: