A statement from our patron

I have had a life long interest in birds. They have brought joy to an increasing number of people around the world but especially in Canada. In recent years I have noticed an alarming decline in many species I once considered a common part of my world. Bird populations are of course the proverbial canary in the coal mine. The health of their populations relates to the health of humans. The Breeding Bird Atlas puts scientific muscle behind vague impressions. It also stimulates public awareness and even that sense of joy I had in my youth. — Robert Bateman, Patron of the Atlas. Photo by Birgit Freybe Bateman.

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The Canadian Intermountain Joint Venture (CIJV) Management Board recognises that the Atlas will provide a critical foundation to bird conservation in British Columbia, and unanimously endorsed the project at their Board Meeting on 20 November 2007.

British Columbia is an important part of the Pacific Coast Joint Venture. The BC Breeding Bird Atlas will provide much needed information for conservation planning. The PCJV Management Board fully supports this effort." - Tom Dwyer, US Co-Chair of the Pacific Coast Joint Venture.

Contact us
BC Breeding Bird Atlas
Bird Studies Canada
5421 Robertson Road
Delta, BC V4K 3N2

Welcome to the British Columbia
Breeding Bird Atlas!

Following five years of bird surveys by over 1000 participants, 54,000 observation hours, and covering nearly 450,000 square kilometers - about half of British Columbia's rugged terrain - the B.C. Breeding Bird Atlas is nearing completion! Volunteer birdwatchers and professional biologists contributed +597,000 and breeding observations from locations throughout the province. Over 300 species of birds breed each year in B.C. - more than any other province in Canada. Sixty five species breed nowhere else in Canada and for several other species, B.C. holds the majority of the world population. Our province therefore plays a pivotal role in Canada's bird conservation efforts.

The mapping and account writing are now underway. Bird Studies Canada's data specialists are compiling and analyzing the huge quantities of bird records collected. Once all the data has been fully collated, reviewed, and entered, a series of maps for all the province's bird species will be compiled. One set of maps will show the presence of birds within the Atlas squares, while the second set will show the probability of occurrence of the species based on point counts and habitat suitability.

Latest news from the atlas

02 April 2014: Going birding any day in May? How about a Birdathon for the BC Atlas?

As you’re aware, we are in the final publication phase of the first-ever BC Breeding Bird Atlas! The critical data you collected will now be transformed into "maps", "summaries and analyses", and "interactive web-tools" designed to advance conservation through improved landscape management, policy and planning, and strategic informed advocacy. We?re hoping you can help for this last push to completion. The 2014 Birdathon could make all the difference!

The BSC BC Programs office is birding and raising funds for the BC Atlas. Won’t you consider joining our team?

Participants receive:

- Free Birdathon t-shirt for participating - Free participant?s kit - Personalized fundraising webpage - The chance to win prizes such as exotic birding trips, optics, and many more!

Never done a Birdathon before? It’s fun and easy. Here’s how it works:

1. Visit our "Birdathon Registration page here" to register.

2. Join our team "BC Atlas UnTwitchables", and don't forget to select the BC Atlas as the group you'd like the funds you raise to support!

3. Reach out to your friends, family, neighbours, (or even strangers) to ask for their support! Perhaps you?re up to the challenge of a per-species pledge?

4. Choose ANY day in May to identify as many bird species as possible within a 24-hour period.

Alternatively, please consider supporting "my 2014 Birdathon for the BC Atlas.", I’m even up for a per-species pledge challenge. My Birdathon record in BC is 118 species in 24 hours (and it was ALL by bike!). Think I can break it?

If you already participate in the Baillie Birdathon, please continue to do so and continue to designate your support to the club or group you have chosen in the past.

Thank you for your consideration of the 2014 Birdathon and for being a significant part of the BC Breeding Bird Atlas.


Christopher Di Corrado. BC Breeding Bird Atlas Coordinator

P.S. Bird Studies Canada’s Baillie Birdathon is the oldest sponsored bird count in North America, raising money for bird research and conservation. Sponsors can visit your page to support you online using their credit card. Participants will be immediately informed, via email, when a donation has been made in their name. To find out more about the Baillie Birdathon, download the 2014 participants? kit, or to register online now, "visit here."

09 May 2013: Appeal for B.C. breeding bird and habitat photographs

The Atlas Publication Committee is seeking free contributions (i.e. unpaid) of very high quality, colour photographs of every breeding bird species in B.C.

We do stress that the overall well-being of the birds is our top priority, and photographers should not cause any stress or harm to wildlife or habitat while obtaining photos. We will not use any photographs that were unethically acquired, or that did not follow the "Ethics of Birding" guidelines.

Please read and follow the instruction details here.

Please note that while we sincerely appreciate your submissions, not all photographs submitted for consideration will be used in the publication, thank-you.
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What is an Atlas

Mapping birds is quickly becoming a world-wide phenomenon. It is fun to participate of course, but the results are an invaluable foundation of information for conserving birds and their ecosystems. Not long ago, atlases were books of maps but more recently atlases have on-line versions that are interactive. The BC Breeding Bird Atlas will be on-line and we hope to have a book too. To find out more, click here.


From 2008-2012, over 1000 participants worked hard to put BC birds on the map! Data are already being put to use to better understand and conserve BC's birds. Thank you to all our volunteers and regional coordinators who made this project possible.

View species maps


List of participants who contributed the most to data collection. For a complete list, click here.


BC Atlas Partners

BC Atlas Sponsors

Major Atlas Sponsors



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