MN Breeding Bird Atlas

Mapping the distribution of breeding birds in Minnesota. Photo Carrol Henderson

Thank you, for your interest in the Minnesota Breeding Bird Atlas!

The Minnesota Breeding Bird Atlas (MNBBA) is a critical bird conservation project designed to document every species that currently breeds in Minnesota and where in the state each species breeds. Surprisingly, Minnesota is one of only seven states, and the only state along the Mississippi Flyway, that has not developed a breeding bird atlas.

Thanks to the efforts of more than 800 volunteers, we have successfully completed Phase 1 of the Atlas - data collection! From 2009 through 2013, Atlas volunteers and project partners covered the state to report evidence of breeding species.

Preliminary results show 250 species reported with breeding evidence confirmed for 232 species. Well done, everyone! This effort by Minnesota birders, researchers, and bird enthusiasts resulted in over 350,000 observations. Participants reported species in 2339 project priority blocks (13 blocks were inaccessible) plus additional data in 4000 non-priority blocks. Take a look at these special sightings (shown at right). 

The data collection phase of the project is now complete but the project does not end here. Now we begin the second phase of the project, to analyze the results and make that information available.

What’s Next?

First, we will complete a review of the data. After the review, we will make any necessary corrections to the database. The result will be a final (no longer preliminary) dataset.

We are developing our analysis approach to make the best possible use of this extraordinary data so it provides our partners and the public with the most valuable information possible, based on sound science. Publications of the final results will follow.

Results from the MNBBA enable us to:

  • Map the location and breeding status of all species in the state.
  • Produce base-line information for monitoring future changes to bird populations.
  • Support local and state-wide conservation planning with current, science-based information.

Results will be valuable not only for scientists, natural resource managers, public officials, educators, and birders, but everyone interested in Minnesota birds.

Thank you to everyone who has supported and contributed to this historic bird conservation effort!

Funding for this project is provided by the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund as recommended by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR) and a partnership of bird conservation organizations.

How you can help, right now