Participating in the North American
Breeding Bird Survey
Each spring over 2500 skilled amateur birders and professional biologists
volunteer to participate in the North American BBS. We are always
looking for highly skilled birders to join the team. Meet some of the
BBS crew and see their routes at the photogallery.
Requirements for participation are:
- Access to suitable transportation to complete a survey.
- Good hearing and eyesight.
- The ability to identify all breeding birds in the area by sight
and sound. Knowledge of bird songs is extremely important, because
most birds counted on these surveys are singing males.
- New BBS participants must also successfully complete the BBS
Methodology Training Program before their data will be used in
any BBS analyses. The training program is available from the national
BBS offices and the state, provincial, and territorial coordinators.
If you meet the first 3 criteria and would like to participate in the
BBS, please contact your state, provincial, or territorial BBS
coordinator, or the USGS or CWS national BBS office. You can explore our network of
routes and see which are currently vacant by viewing our
route location maps. To learn about the availability of internship postions in the BBS national
office, please see Internships.
Resources For Current Observers
In addition to the materials mailed out by the national office each spring, current observers will find the following resources useful in performing their surveys:
- Instructions for Conducting the North American Breeding Bird Survey
- BBS Covid Safety Measures
- 2021 Breeding Bird Survey Volunteer Services Agreement
- Add-as-you-go Field Sheets [pdf]
Survey Comment Forms:
- USA and Canada - English [pdf]
- Canada - Francais [pdf]
- Information Handouts - a handy tool for when you get stopped in the field [pdf]
- List of Species Previously Encountered on Routes
Laurel, MD, USA 20708-4038
Last Modified: 3/27/2018
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