Species richness of local communities is a state variable commonly used in community ecology and conservation biology. Investigation of spatial and temporal variations in richness and identification of factors associated with these variations form a basis for specifying management plans, evaluating these plans, and for testing hypotheses of theoretical interest. However, estimation of species richness is not trivial: species can be missed by investigators during sampling sessions. Sampling artifacts can lead to erroneous conclusions on spatial and temporal variation in species richness. Here we use data from the North American Breeding Bird Survey to estimate parameters describing the state of bird communities in the Mid-Atlantic Assessment (MAIA) region: species richness, extinction probability, turnover and relative species richness. We use a recently developed approach to estimation of species richness and related parameters that does not require the assumption that all the species are detected during sampling efforts. The information presented here is intended to visualize the state of bird communities in the MAIA region. We provide information on 1975 and 1990. We also quantified the changes between these years. We summarized and mapped the community attributes at a scale of management interest (watershed units).