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The North American Breeding Bird Survey has provided an annual index of population change since 1966. About 2400 randomly distributed roadside routes of 50 three-minute stops each provide the basic data for computer analysis. One of the reports produced shows the percentage of routes on which each species is encountered in each state and each Canadian province. This percentage is used to show expansion and contraction of breeding range and also important changes in frequency of encounter within various portions of the range of each species. Most of the recent changes in range fall in one of these 7 categories: (1) introduced species; (2) species given special protection; (3) species benefiting from artificial feeding in winter; (4) species taking advantage of shelterbelts; (5) species nesting on large highway bridges and dams; (6) species that feed on grain lost during mechanical harvesting: and (7) species losing habitat as a result of urban expansion. Examples of each category are supported by changes in the rate of encounter.
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Recent changes in the ranges of North American birds