Welcome to the Maritimes Breeding Bird Atlas

Birds can tell us a lot about the environment in which we live.  Because they are sensitive to environmental stressors and occupy terrestrial, freshwater and marine habitats, knowing where birds are and what habitats they use can help us assess ecosystem health. 

The Maritimes Breeding Bird Atlas is a volunteer-based project to determine the distribution and abundance of all bird species breeding in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and on Prince Edward Island.  From 2006 to 2010, over 1,000 volunteers spent 49,000 hours combing the Maritimes in search of breeding birds.  During that time they gathered over 263,350 individual bird records, including 4,700 records for species at risk.  Now it is time to put that data to good use. 

Over the next year we will finalize the  hard-copy Atlas publication and website which we hope to make available by late 2014.  In the interim, you can use this website to access data summaries and view distribution maps, and the complete data set can be downloaded at www.naturecounts.ca.   We will continue to post our progress below under the "Latest News" and will be sure to let you know when the hard-copy publication is available.

A big THANK-YOU to everyone who has already purchased an advance copy of the Second Atlas of Breeding Birds of the Maritime Provinces. In doing so, you have supported the coordination of the writing and editing of the final publication, and will help to determine the size of the print run. Your ongoing support of the Atlas project is very much appreciated.

Photo: Jim Strohmer

Atlas Latest News

August 9, 2013 - Progress towards final publication

Progress to date
First, we apologize, we significantly underestimated the time that it would take to write, edit and translate this complex publication, as well as to complete all maps and data analyses. As a consequence, our initial launch of the pre-sale a year ago was overly optimistic. However, we have made lots of progress. At present, species accounts have gone through several editing stages, and have now been sent to external reviewers. The methodology behind several analyses has been finalized, and we are very close to finalizing how those results will be presented in the book. The analyses and resulting maps will go beyond what has been previously published in other Canadian Atlases, and set a new standard for mapping abundance and comparing change between atlases. Several initial chapters have also been drafted.

Next steps
Over the next two to three months, we hope to finalize all species accounts and maps, plus draft remaining chapters explaining results and conservation implications. Once these tasks are complete, all contributing organizations, as well as the editors, will read through the final publication to ensure accuracy and consistency.

We plan to complete all writing and internal editing by the fall 2013, at which point the book will go for layout, design and English copy-editing. This process will take approximately 3 to 4 months. The book will then go to translation, followed by scientific review and French copy-editing. We expect this process to take 5 to 6 months in total, at which point the book will be ready to go to print. We hope to deliver it to you by late 2014.  Thank-you again to all of those who have already supported the Atlas by pre-purchasing a copy.  We are sure you won't be disappointed and, like you,  we are eagerly anticipating having the hard copy in our hands.

Thank-you to the many photographers who gave us permission to use their photos for Atlas publications and on the website. We really appreciate it!

Latest News Archives

Our Partners

Online maps available for every breeding species

The 1st Maritimes Breeding Bird Atlas is available online!  Click the image below, or contact us for your copy.

Read Atlas-related features in Bird Studies Canada's quarterly magazine BirdWatch Canada:

Maritimes Atlas: From Field to Print

Completing the Maritimes Atlas

O Canada Warbler

Using atlases for conservation

Conservation has gone Rusty!


List of participants who contributed the most to data collection. For a complete list, click here.

Participant Total

Breeding Bird Atlases are coast to coast!



Our Supporters

The Government of Canada Habitat Stewardship Program for Species At Risk


THE harrison Mccain foundation


Mr. Harvey Gilmour NB SEEDS




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