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The Avian Dataset


The Boreal Avian Modelling (BAM) Project has been assembling a comprehensive database of systematic, spatially referenced, observational data on boreal birds that have been collected in the boreal and hemiboreal regions of Canada and the United States. Our primary focus is point-count data. This standardized survey technique, used widely in avian research, is well suited for evaluating habitat requirements of forest songbirds.

To date, we have compiled much of the point-count data collected in the Canadian boreal forest since 1993. The avian data set contains information from more than 105 individual research projects comprising more than 100 000 off-road point-count locations, and over 1 million bird records. Approximately 100 bird species are represented. Recent data compilation efforts have resulted in the acquisition of the majority of geo-referenced point-count survey data from across boreal and Arctic Alaska. Efforts continue to acquire data from the hemiboreal region across North America including the Upper Midwest and New England areas of the US.

See the below report for a detailed summary of our Avian Database as of 2010:

Cumming, S.G., K. Lefevre, and M. Leblanc. 2010. The Boreal Avian Modelling Project Avian Dataset: Structure and Descriptive Statistics. http://www.borealbirds.ca/files/technical_reports/BAM_ADD_part1_version1.zip (~23.4 Mb)

And this publication for a description of the data harmonization process: 

Barker, N. K. S., P. C. Fontaine, S. G. Cumming, D. Stralberg, A. Westwood, E. M. Bayne, P. Sólymos, F. K. A. Schmiegelow, S. J. Song, and D. J. Rugg. 2015. Ecological monitoring through harmonizing existing data: Lessons from the Boreal Avian Modelling Project. Wildlife Society Bulletin 39:480-487.


Data Requests

BAM does not currently entertain requests from outside parties for the entire BAM Avian Database. Subsets of the database may be shared outside BAM if they are to be used in a highly collaborative project that is consistent with Data Partner interests and follows any restrictions regarding spatial extent or purpose of the intended research. For more information on BAM's data policies and request procedures, please see the latest version of our Data Policies and Requests Procedure document [PDF ~1.5 MB].

Data Locations within the BAM Avian Dataset

National Distribution Map

This sampling map displays all point count stations in our international database.  Each point represents a unique geographical location in the boreal and hemiboreal forest where bird surveys have been conducted and results have been shared with the Boreal Avian Modelling Project. Click map for larger view.

BREEDING BIRD ATLAS DATA: Breeding bird Atlas programs from across Canada (British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and the Maritime provinces) have provided substantial amounts of data to the BAM datasets, filling in gaps in coverage by individual research projects.

BREEDING BIRD SURVEY (BBS) DATA: In 2010, BAM expanded its efforts to incorporate Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) route data from the boreal and hemiboreal region into the BAM dataset. The spatial locations of stops and routes in Canada were corrected to known road locations before the data were incorporated. The BAM dataset includes data from BBS routes conducted since 1996. These additional data help to fill data gaps in the assembled point count survey data. American BBS data will be included at a later date. By virtue of how the data are collected, most of these data represent point-counts collected along roadways.

Pardieck, K.L., D.J. Ziolkowski, M.-A.R. Hudson. 2013. North American Breeding Bird Survey data set 1966 - 2012, version 2012.0. USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center (ftp://ftpext.usgs.gov/pub/er/md/laurel/BBS/datafiles/).

CONTINUED EXPANSION: BAM continues to welcome the contribution of new point-count datasets collected in boreal and hemiboreal ecosystems in North America. For more information on contributing your data, click here.

This page last updated: Apr 03 2017