Patuxent Wildlife Research Center - Bird Population Studies

The North American Breeding Bird Survey Results and Analysis 1966-2015

Dedicated to Chandler S. Robbins, originator of the survey.


Sauer, J. R., D. K. Niven, J. E. Hines, D. J. Ziolkowski, Jr, K. L. Pardieck, J. E. Fallon, and W. A. Link. 2017. The North American Breeding Bird Survey, Results and Analysis 1966 - 2015. Version 2.07.2017 USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Laurel, MD

2015 RESULTS: Most Recent Update: 7 February 2017.

This website presents population change information for more than 400 species of North American birds, as estimated from the North American Breeding Bird Survey. Estimates of trend (interval-specific estimates of population change), annual indices of abundance, and maps of abundance and population change for these species are presented for a variety of regions.

This website contains the 1966 - 2015 BBS analysis results. These results have undergone internal review. See our disclaimer for cautions regarding the analysis and its interpretation.

Results presented on this website are based on outputs from a series of statistical analyses of BBS data. To conform to USGS data release protocols, we have reviewed the results, and prepared metadata. The full datasets of trend and annual indices analyses are provided in csv format, and can be downloaded from these links:


  1. This is the first public version of the 2015 analysis. We welcome comments on the results presented here. Public review and feedback regarding the results are a critical part of the scientific review of the website, and we thank you in advance for taking a careful look at these summaries.
  2. Some parts of the website (e.g., the community dynamics section) have not been updated. Alaska results have not yet been computed for 2015.
  3. BBS taxonomic classifications are updated periodically, and the Analysis and Summary Website is presently consistent with the 52nd supplement to the AOU Checklist . Recent taxonomic changes, (e.g., Clapper/Ridgway Rails) have not been incorporated into the BBS analysis. Sage and Bells Sparrows are grouped for analysis. Note that the order of presentation of species lists might not follow taxonomic order, and some of the grouped taxa may appear at the ends of the species list for a region.
  4. A minor change was implemented in the counting of sample sizes. In past analyses, we calculated the number of routes on which the species was observed at least once. However, some of these routes were not included in that analysis due to limited data on the route or because it occurred in a stratum that did not meet the minimum sample size requirements (4 routes) for that stratum to be included in the analysis. Excluding these routes lead to slightly smaller sample sizes that better reflect the actual number of routes contributing informatiton to the analyses. The analysis has not changed; we only modified how we computed number of routes included in the analysis.

General Information

Archival Versions of Results from Prior Years

References and additional information

Summary information on population change by region and time period
This program allows you to display trends for 2 time intervals, by species. Indices are provided as links from the species names
This program allows you to display trends for 2 time intervals, by region. Indices are provided as links from the species names
These are relative abundance maps, estimated over the interval 2011-2015.
These are maps of population change, based on the 1966-2015 interval.
This program provides access to all information, for any species, on any BBS route. (Updated to 2015) New:For US routes, we provide summary information on remotely-sensed habitat data.
This program allows you to estimate population change for any species and time interval (1966 - 2015), in any region covered by the BBS
This program is for estimation of species richness from BBS data using capture-recapture based estimation procedures.
This link leads to a website that allows users to download GIS data for the BBS.
This link transfers you to the Bird Identification InfoCenter, in which is contained pictures, songs, and identification tips of most North American Bird Species.
Test your skills of identifying North American bird songs, pictures, and breeding and wintering distributions.

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