USGS PWRC - North American Breeding Bird Atlas Explorer

Latest version published by United States Geological Survey on Aug 31, 2016 United States Geological Survey

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Online repository for archiving Breeding Bird Atlas (BBA) data collected across the US. The database supports data from published atlases and also serves as a management tool for implementing these large-scale surveys. The shared data management system has allowed for cost-effective project implementation for agencies in many states. Currently the database houses 35 published and ongoing atlas projects. Data and maps from BBA Explorer have also been used in the preparation of breeding bird atlas books.


The table below shows only published versions of the resource that are publicly accessible.

How to cite

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. 2015. North American Breeding Bird Atlas Explorer.


Researchers should respect the following rights statement:

The publisher and rights holder of this work is United States Geological Survey. To the extent possible under law, the publisher has waived all rights to these data and has dedicated them to the Public Domain (CC0 1.0). Users may copy, modify, distribute and use the work, including for commercial purposes, without restriction.

GBIF Registration

This resource has not been registered with GBIF




Mark Wimer
  • Originator
  • Point Of Contact
Acting Director
Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
12100 Beech Forest Road
20708-4038 Laurel
+1 (301)497-5596
Annie Simpson
  • Metadata Provider
Biologist and Information Scientist
USGS Core Science Analytics Synthesis & Libraries Program
12201 Sunrise Valley Drive, Mailstop 302
20192 Reston
+1 (703) 648-4281

Geographic Coverage

The bounding box parameters are only approximate. Geographic areas that provide data content include: California (Solano, Sonoma, Yolo Counties); Colorado; Connecticut; Delaware; District of Columbia; Florida; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Missouri; New Hampshire; New Mexico; New York; North Carolina (Mecklenburg County); Ohio; Ontario (Canada); Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; Vermont; Virginia (Loudoun County); Washington; Wisconsin; West Virginia

Bounding Coordinates South West [25.3, -126.37], North East [49.29, -66.29]

Taxonomic Coverage

Birds that breed in the United States.

Class Aves (birds)

Project Data

No Description available

Title North American Breeding Bird Atlas
Funding Diverse funding from federal and state sources.
Study Area Description See:
Design Description See:

The personnel involved in the project:

Mark Wimer
  • Point Of Contact

Sampling Methods


Study Extent See:
Quality Control See:

Method step description:

  1. See:

Additional Metadata

Purpose What is a Breeding Bird Atlas? A Breeding Bird Atlas (BBA) is a population survey project designed to cover large geographic areas using a grid based system and is generally organized at the state or provincial level. Each participant in the project, referred to as an observer or 'atlaser', is assigned one or more blocks (grid cells) in which to conduct extensive area searches. They record any breeding evidence observed for each bird species; this evidence is categorized as “confirmed”, “probable” or “possible”. The results can be mapped and will then provide comprehensive information about the distribution of breeding birds in the region covered. For more information on BBAs see the North American Ornithological Atlas Committee (NORAC) website.
Alternative Identifiers