Category Archives: EBCC


The European Bird Census Council are encouraging registration for their 21st Conference “Bird Numbers 2019”, to be hosted by the LabOr – Laboratory of Ornithology in the beautiful Portuguese city of Evora, 8-13th April 2019.

Bird Numbers 2019 will cover a broad range of topics related to the monitoring of birds and their ecology and conservation, at both national and continental scales, and will consider the wider relevance of such work for science, conservation and society. The conference will feature invited plenary speakers, parallel lecture sessions, posters, thematic workshops, excursions and cultural events.

Whilst the exciting programme of plenaries, lecture sessions and workshops is now finalised, the deadline for the submission of poster abstracts is 31st January.
Suitable subject areas include:

    – atlases and studies of bird distributions;
    – biodiversity indicators;
    – surveys and monitoring of breeding birds;
    – waterbird monitoring;
    – new methods and technologies;
    – changes in wintering areas: long-distance migrants and migratory connectivity;
    – causes of change in bird populations and societal responses;
    – climate change impacts;
    – renewable energies and their effects on birds;
    – effects of conservation actions and policies.

Bird numbers 2019 is a collaboration between the EBCC, LabOr, the Institute of Mediterranean Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (ICAAM) and the University of Evora. We look forward to seeing you in Portugal for what will undoubtedly be a memorable conference.

The Atlas of Wintering and Migratory Birds of Portugal: a new tool for ornithologists

The first Atlas of Wintering and Migratory Birds of Portugal is the largest collective ornithological work of the last 10 years in the country and is finally published. Field work produced almost 4000 hours of census and 150 thousand bird records, covering three quarters of the national territory in systematic visits. In all, more than 400 bird species have been registered. These are extraordinary results for a project of national scope, whose field work was carried out in only two years.

The project was co-funded by the EDP Biodiversity Fund 2010 and involved the following entities: SPEA (Portuguese BirdLife Partner), LabOr – Laboratory of Ornithology, ICAAM, University of Évora, ICNF, Institute of Nature and Forestry Conservation, Institute of Forestry and Nature Conservation, Regional Secretariat for Energy, Environment and Tourism (Azores), and the Portuguese Association of Bird Ringers.

The Atlas is published in Portuguese and is available only online at

Don´t miss any news on bird monitoring in Europe!

Since last autumn we spread a quarterly newsletter which aims to bring the news regarding all EBCC projects – Pan-European Common Bird Monitoring (PECBMS), European Breeding Bird Atlas 2 (EBBA2) and EuroBird Portal (EBP) – to everybody who is interested in bird monitoring in Europe. We wish to stay in touch and communicate together.

Are you the national coordinator of monitoring scheme, do you organise a meeting regarding monitoring methods or you are seeking for volunteer counters for the next breeding season? Please, let us know and tell us about your news!

September issue of the EBCC newsletter has been spread right now. The next issue will be out in the first half of December.

Did you miss some older issues? Check the EBCC e-mail newsletter archive!

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We would like to make you sure that we take care of your personal data and we protect them according to Privacy policy with regard to General data protection regulation (GDPR). We processes personal data (name and e-mail address) on the grounds of voluntary registration for EBCC e-mail newsletter. If there is something unclear regarding the protection of your personal data, please, feel free to contact us.

Privacy Policy

We would like to make you sure that we take care of your personal data and we protect them according to the Privacy policy with regard to General data protection regulation (GDPR).

In case of the EBCC e-mail newsletter we processes personal data (name and e-mail address) on the grounds of voluntary registration for the newsletter. If there is something unclear regarding the protection of your personal data, please, feel free to contact us.

You can read deatiled conditions in this document.

EBCC Board decides on avian species list

All supra-national projects coordinated by EBCC, especially EBBA2, EuroBirdPortal and PECBMS, require binding decisions on the taxonomy and nomenclature employed for the birds. This demands a classification system that is standardized, trustworthy and globally accepted, and is also likely to stand the test of time. Since the publication of the first European bird atlas in 1997, many new insights on species- and higher-level taxonomic relationships have emerged, making a change of the species list necessary. After an information gathering process, the Board had to decide on one of the two classification systems that appeared most transparent and robust in their taxonomic decisions (IOC and BirdLife/HBW). Continue reading EBCC Board decides on avian species list

New study: How do recent forest bird trends compare to changes in forest quality and quantity?

A team of Swedish ornithologists and forest experts compared temporal trends from two nationwide long-term monitoring schemes, the Swedish Bird Survey (1998-2015) and the Swedish National Forestry Inventory (1983-2014). Although this is “only” a national analysis, it includes highly representative values for both forest and bird changes over an area of 350 000 km2, and with a large latitudinal span from the Nemoral zone to the Arctic.

Since 1998 the total area of middle-aged and mature forest in Sweden has increased by 6.4%. In parallel, several forest structures potentially beneficial to birds (dead wood, retention trees on clear cuts, multi-layer forests, old forest and broadleaved forest) increased somewhat in abundance, most likely as a result of legislation changes and increasing areas under forest certification schemes. Summer temperatures also increased, with warm summers dominating since 2002. In 1998-2015, the population sizes of 58 forest bird species on average increased, as did the number of species observed per route, with no general difference between forest specialists (16 species) and generalists (42 species). However, from around 2005, the positive trends in bird numbers and many forest structures have levelled out.

An analysis of species population trends in relation to a measure of climate sensitivity (Species Temperature Index, STI) suggested that forest birds, just like Swedish birds in general, have indeed been affected by a warming climate. But given their STI, forest birds on average had more positive trends than non-forest birds, suggesting that other factors than climate have caused them to have relatively positive trends. Strong candidate factors are the documented changes in forest quality and quantity. While the analyses presented are purely correlational, and no firm conclusions on causality can be drawn, it is still reasonable to assume that larger areas of mature production forests, slightly improved forest quality, and warmer summers, all have contributed to the general increase in forest bird numbers in Sweden. But the relative contribution of these driving forces remains to be determined.

When it comes to the potentially positive effects of improving forest quality in terms of increases in old forest, stratification, retention trees and dead wood, it is noteworthy that, first, the forest quality in general is still below what is considered necessary for forest birds and other biodiversity to thrive, and second, several of the positive trends in forest structures since the mid-1990s seem to have ceased recently.

Study reference:
Ram, D., Axelsson, A.-L, Green, M., Smith, H. G. & Lindström, Å. 2017. What drives current population trends in forest birds – forest quantity, quality or climate? A large-scale analysis from northern Europe. For. Ecol. Manage. 385: 177-188.