Breeding Bird Surveys

The North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) was developed by the FWS along with the Canadian Wildlife Service to document trends in bird populations. Pilot surveys began in 1965 and immediately expanded to cover the U.S. east of the Mississippi and Canada and by 1968, included all of North America. The BBS program in North America is managed by the USGS and currently consists of over 4,100 routes, with approximately 3,000 of these being sampled each year. BBS data provide long-term species abundance and distribution trends across a broad geographic scale. These data have been used to estimate population changes for hundreds of bird species, and they are the primary source for regional conservation programs and modeling efforts. Because of the broad spatial extent of the surveys, BBS data is the foundation for broad conservation assessments extending beyond local jurisdictional boundaries.

In 1985, five official BBS routes were established on the INL Site (i.e., remote routes), and eight additional survey routes were established near INL Site facilities (i.e., facility routes; Figure 1). Data from remote routes contribute to the USGS continent-wide analyses of bird trends and also provide information that local managers can use to track and understand population trends. Data from facility routes may be useful in detecting whether INL activities cause measurable impacts on abundance and diversity of native birds. 

BBS Routes

Recent bird sightings on the INL


Sign up to be an official INL birdwatcher The INL  is interested in keeping a year-round list of observations of birds on the INL.  This data will be  used by ESER and DOE-ID as part of its wildlife management and monitoring programs. If you would like to enroll as an official ESER birdwatcher, please send us your name, e-mail address, phone number, and work facility.  Upon approval, you will be given a password to access our submittal form.


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