Data from the North American Breeding Bird Survey were used to estimate continental and regional changes in bird populations for the 5-yr period 1999-2003 and the 2-yr period 2002-2003. These short-term changes were placed in the context of population trends estimated over the 1966-2003 interval. During 1999-2003, 41% of all species exhibited positive trends over the entire survey area, while 64% of all species exhibited positive change between 2002-2003. The continental and regional percentages of species with positive trends were also analyzed for 12 species groups having shared life-history traits. Survey-wide for the entire survey period, grassland birds exhibited the lowest percentage of increasing species (14%), with their sharpest declines occurring in the West during 1999-2003 (10% increasing). During 1999-2003, short-distance migrants experienced significant declines in all regions, where numbers of species with increasing trends ranged from 22% - 34%. Most species fared well during the 2002-2003 period, with 64% (P < 0.05) increasing survey-wide. This was primarily a result of increases in the Central and Western BBS regions where 21 of 24 species groups exhibited significant increases in the number of species with positive trends.
Additional publication details
The 1999-2003 Summary of the North American Breeding Bird Survey