Search for More Datasets

Click here to view metadata records of bird monitoring datasets in the Bird Monitoring Data Registry, or search more broadly using the NBII Metadata Clearinghouse.

Bird Data Repositories by Data Collection Method

A number of websites have been developed to consolidate bird data collected with specific methodologies (e.g. point counts, atlas methods) across the continent. These sites provide tools that facilitate data management while serving as central repositories for storage and access to these particular data resources.

North American Breeding Bird Atlas Explorer - A searchable repository of Breeding Bird Atlas data in North America. Data are used to assess the status of breeding populations of non-game birds at the state and provincial levels.

Bird Point Count Database - A searchable repository of bird point count data collected in North America.

Bird Data by Species

Bald Eagles - Laura Whitehouse
Bald Eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)
[Photograph: Laura Whitehouse,
FWS Image Library]

Species-specific surveys are designed to detect one species of bird at a time. Some examples of national / continental efforts to collect and provide access to bird data from species-specific surveys are:

  • American Woodcock Singing-ground Survey
    The Migratory Bird Data Center website provides access to data from spring surveys of singing male American Woodcock along the eastern half of the United States and Canada.
  • Midwinter Bald Eagle Count Website
    The Midwinter Bald Eagle Count Website provides access to results of midwinter Bald Eagle surveys conducted from 1986-2005 in the continental United States.
  • Mourning Dove Call-count Survey
    The Migratory Bird Data Center website provides access to data from Mourning Dove surveys conducted in late May and early June throughout the United States.

Bird Data

Black-necked stilts
Black-necked Stilts (Himantopus mexicanus)
[Photograph: John Mosesso, NBII LIFE]

Bird data used in bird conservation can originate from a variety of sources including surveys, inventories, banding and telemetry efforts, and individual observers. The raw data collected from these primary data sources is then used and analyzed by researchers, statisticians, analysts, and information technologists to develop summarized data results. Data in raw and summarized formats, such as the data resources provided in this page, help determine bird distribution and abundance, and help assess population status, trend, and demographic rates. This information can aid natural resource managers, planners, and policy makers to make more informed decisions that will help achieve bird conservation goals.

Bird Data by Taxonomic Group

Waterbirds at Merritt Island
Waterbirds: Snowy Egrets (Egretta thula) , Roseate Spoonbills (Platalea ajaja)
[Photograph: Elizabeth Martin]

Regional and continental efforts to collect and provide access to bird data from surveys designed for specific taxonomic groups of birds can be found at the following sites:


  • Hawk Count - A database for raptor migration count data collected at hawk watch sites across North America.


  • North Pacific Seabird Colony Database - A database with information on location, breeding population size and species composition of seabird colonies on the Alaskan and Russian Far East coasts.



  • Waterbird Monitoring Database - A database that contains waterbird data from coastal surveys conducted in the mid 1990s from Maine to Georgia plus data from colonial waterbird atlases in the United States and Canada.


  • Migratory Bird Data Center - A website that provides access to data from waterfowl surveys conducted during winter and spring in the United States and North America. Data from the following surveys can be accessed via the Migratory Bird Data Center website: Atlantic Flyway Breeding Waterfowl Survey, Atlantic Flyway Sea Duck Survey, Mexican Mid-winter Waterfowl Survey, Mid-winter Waterfowl Survey, and Waterfowl Breeding Population & Habitat Survey.
  • Latin America & Caribbean Waterfowl Surveys - Waterfowl surveys conducted in 13 different Caribbean, Central American, and northern South American countries from 1999-2007.

Distributed Data Networks

These sites provide data portals for accessing multiple distributed bird databases from a central location:

Avian Knowledge Network (AKN) - A network of non-government and government partners providing access to raw observational data (bird monitoring, bird banding, and citizen-based bird surveillance programs) across North America.

Ornithological Information System (ORNIS) - A network of museum and academic partners providing access to bird specimen data, recordings and photos held in museum collections and other programs across North America.

North American All-Bird Surveys

Long-term, all-bird surveys provide data for estimating long-term bird population trends in North America. Surveys like the North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) and the National Audubon Society's Christmas Bird Count (CBC) have been conducted for over half a century using common data collection protocols. These surveys are some of the most widely used and cited surveys in bird conservation as they provide baseline data for determining which species are in greatest need of conservation across North America. Visit the BBS and CBC websites to access their data.

Demographic Data

Bird Banding
Bird Banding
[Photograph: NBII LIFE,
John Mosesso]

Estimation of bird demographic parameters (e.g. survival, mortality, productivity) requires tracking of individual birds or nests over time. These data are needed to identify potential causes of bird population declines. To access regional-level demographic data visit:

Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship (MAPS) - A program that utilizes constant-effort mist netting and banding to assess and monitor vital rates and population dynamics of North American landbirds.

Breeding Biology Research & Monitoring Database (BBIRD) - A program that uses standard field methods to assess nesting success and habitat requirements of breeding birds.


Citizen-Based Bird Data

Birdwatcher and snow geese
Birdwatcher & Snow Geese
[Photograph: John & Karen Hollingsworth,
FWS Image Library]

Recreational and professional bird watchers can support bird conservation by contributing their individual bird observations to citizen science programs. Aggregation of these individual observations at a variety of spatial and temporal scales helps determine real-time abundance and distribution of birds throughout the world. To contribute or access data from citizen science programs, visit the following sites:

eBird - A real-time, online checklist program that provides data on bird abundance and distribution across North America.

Worldbirds - A platform for the collection, storage and retrieval of bird observations worldwide.

The NBII Program is administered by the Biological Informatics Program of the U.S. Geological Survey
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