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Breeding Bird Survey cancelled for 2020

Fern Davies

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We hope you and your loved ones are doing well during this trying time. After much careful deliberation, the U.S. Geological Survey, Canadian Wildlife Service, and Mexican National Commission for the Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity have decided to cancel all North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) field activities for 2020.

We would prefer to be in the field collecting BBS data this spring, however, potential exposure to the health risks and hardships of COVID-19 is too great. Furthermore, the suspension of nonessential travel and activities in many locales as well as diminished access to roadways used by BBS routes due to public land closures would make conducting a BBS route illegal, if not impossible in many areas. Also, with national BBS staff having to work from home, we are unable to prepare or mail out your annual BBS packets/kits this season. As a result, we have decided that it is in the best interests of everyone to cancel the survey, to help ensure that we have a healthy team of participants for the 2021 season.

The BBS staff at the national offices will not be idle during this time. We will instead take advantage of the next few months to make progress on exciting new developments outlined in the forthcoming “Strategic Plan of the North American Breeding Bird Survey: 2020-2030", which we will share with you soon.

In the meantime, we hope that you will safely continue to sharpen your birding skills, using resources such as Dendroica or Merlin, in anticipation of the 2021 field season when we will continue our important BBS work. Please stay safe by following national and local COVID-19 response guidelines. Take care of yourself and of your families.


BBS National Offices

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