A Long-term Partnership for Conservation

BC Atlas Logo
The Atlas is a uniting force bringing together the birding and wildlife-watching community, wildlife management agencies, academic institutions, industries, professional biologists and responsible outdoor user groups, in a common stewardship goal: better conservation of our birds and the places they live. The 2008-2012 fieldwork is complete, but the partnership continues to apply the results to research and conservation. We strongly encourage collaborators to contact us at bcbirdatlas@birdscanada.org with project ideas.


Welcome to British Columbia’s first Breeding Bird Atlas!

The British Columbia Breeding Bird Atlas partnership is proud to publish online one of the largest volunteer-based initiatives in British Columbia’s history, and a major new resource for conservation.

Leading British Columbian bird experts describe the distribution, abundance, habitat and conservation of about 320 species of birds that bred and potentially bred in the province between 2008 and 2012, beautifully illustrated by some of British Columbia’s finest photographers. Detailed maps show where each species occurs and how common it is. Graphs help show what is behind the patterns of distribution and abundance, and a series of tools allows you to explore and download the information.

Teaming Professionals with Volunteers

Volunteer The project business model, designed in 2007 by Bird Studies Canada, Environment Canada’s Canadian Wildlife Service, the BC Ministry of Environment, BC Nature, the BC Field Ornithologists, the Pacific Wildlife Foundation and Louisiana Pacific Canada Ltd., teamed a small group of professionals with an army of volunteer birdwatchers and many generous donors from the government, foundation and private sectors.

The Atlas is founded on the skill and dedication of more than 1,300 citizen-scientists organised by an amazing group of 45 volunteer Regional Coordinators who spent five years (2008-2012) logging over 56,000 hours of field data collection―the equivalent of 30 years full-time fieldwork by one person. More than 600 volunteers were trained or directly supported, building significant new science capacity in British Columbia’s communities.

A Major, New, Free Online Publication

This Atlas is the single most comprehensive, current information source on the status of British Columbia’s breeding birds. More than 630,000 records of 320 species are included in the database, including more than 16,500 records of 75 species at risk. We believe it is also the most extensive bird atlas published anywhere online to date. The entire contents―maps, species accounts, graphs, tables, raw data, and more―are available to everyone free of charge.

Sample layout

Something for Everyone

We have designed the Atlas for use by a wide variety of interest groups:

  • Professional conservation and natural resource practitioners will find a new suite of products to improve their day-to-day work.
  • Educators in schools and universities will find new datasets to investigate hypotheses and new information to inform classroom learning.
  • Birders around the world will find the latest maps and information for planning trips and using in the field.
  • British Columbians interested in learning more about their local environment have a new resource to help them interpret this diverse province.

The user-friendly digital presentations are designed for computers in the office and at home, are also well suited for viewing on mobile devices in the field, and the species accounts can be downloaded and printed.



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British Columbia Breeding Bird Atlas, Bird Studies Canada, 5421 Robertson Road Delta, BC V4K 3N2 Canada
Phone: 1-877-592-8527 E-mail: bcbirdatlas@bsc-eoc.org Banner photo: Glenn Bartley