Category Archives: EBCC

How to contribute by field data collected during birdwatching trips abroad. Brief guidelines.

Why

The European Bird Census Council, together with its partners across Europe, plans to produce a new atlas for breeding birds in Europe, to update the ground-breaking first atlas (Hagemeijer & Blair 1997), whose data are now 30 years old. The aim of the European Breeding Bird Atlas 2 (EBBA2) is to cover the whole of Europe, but getting data on bird distribution and abundance is difficult in some countries and regions. Therefore, any reliable information is extremely valuable, including information from holidays, birdwatching trips or other opportunities to watch and record birds during their breeding seasons 2014-2017.

Where

Many countries in eastern and south-eastern parts of Europe have the biggest difficulties to find enough local fieldworkers and foreign birdwatchers are particularly welcome there. Please see the list of priority countries below and click on the country name to open a google map).

Country Contact
Albania Taulant Bino (taobino69gmail.com)
Armenia Karen Aghababyan (karenaua.am)
Azerbaijan Elchin Sultanov (elchin_sultanovaos.az, elchin59gmail.com)
Belarus Anastasiya Kuzmiankova (kuzydomovoygmail.com)
Bosnia & Herzegovina Dražen Kotrošan (kotrosanbih.net.ba), Jovica Sjeničić (jovica.sjenicicgmail.com)
Bulgaria Stoycho Stoychev (stoycho.stoychevbspb.org)
Croatia Vlatka Dumbovic Mazal (vlatka.dumbovicdzzp.hr)
Cyprus Martin Hellicar (martin.hellicarbirdlifecyprus.org.cy)
Georgia Guille Mayor (gmguijarrogmail.com)
Greece Danae Portolou (dportolouornithologiki.gr)
Kazakhstan (European part) Sergey Sklyarenko (sergey.sklyarenkoacbk.kz)
Kosovo Qenan Maxhuni (qmaxhuniyahoo.com)
Macedonia Metodija Velevski (velevskimes.org.mk)
Moldova Larisa Bogdea (condrea_pyahoo.com, larus421gmail.com), Vitalie Ajder (ajder.vitaliegmail.com)
Montenegro Mihailo Jovicevic (mihajovgmail.com), Darko Saveljić (darkosaveljicgmail.com)
Romania Zoltan Szabo (szabodzgmail.com)
Russia (European part) Mikhail Kalyakin (kalyakinzmmu.msu.ru)
Spain Juan Carlos del Moral (jcdelmoralseo.org), Blas Molina (bmolinaseo.org)
Serbia Dimitrije Radišić (dimitrije.radisicgmail.com)
Turkey Kerem Ali Boyla (kusatlasigmail.com)
Ukraine Igor Gorban (ihorbanyahoo.com), Olga Yaremchenko (o_yaremchenkoukr.net)

What

Coordinators of national atlases/EBBA2 national contacts are the best placed to provide details of data required and their format. We encourage anybody interested to contribute to contact national coordinators. Nevertheless, simple data requirements, based on EBBA2 methodology apply to any country. In principle, data collected for the atlas, can come from

  1. non-standardised surveys (opportunistic data) or
  2. standardised surveys (data collected with standardised effort and methodology).

Both approaches will contribute to the production of European distribution maps (in a grid 50×50 km), the latter will be also used for modelling the distribution in Europe at a scale of 10×10 km. For details see the EBBA2 methodology.

1. Non-standardised survey (opportunistic data).
Minimum requirements on the data are very simple:

  • Species must be properly determined.
  • Any observation must include:
    • Date/s of observation (one day or a few consecutive days)
    • Geographic location (see below for details)
    • Site name (name of a town, village, mountain etc)
    • Species recorded
    • Atlas code (see below for explanation)
    • Name of observer(s) and contact (e-mail)
    • Indicate whether you recorded all species detected or just a selection of species (optional)
    • Time (optional)
    • Duration of the observation (optional)
    • Number of individuals observed (optional)
    • Any further details (optional)

Geographic location and type of information:
There are different possibilities to contribute:

  • Provide a species list for a 50×50 km square.
  • Provide a species list for a particular location, defined as square (e.g. 10×10 km or 1×1 km), polygon, route or point.
  • Provide the precise location of each observation.

2. Standardised survey (timed visits)
The aim is to obtain complete lists of species with controlled effort. The data will be used for modelling species’ distribution at 10×10 km scale across Europe. Details of the standardised surveys can differ from country to country, thus, in case you are interested in this type of fieldwork, we recommend to contact national coordinators and ask for detailed instructions. European coordinators may also act as contacts and provide square grids when necessary.

However, if you cannot fully contribute to standardised surveys for a particular country (e.g. if two visits are required but you are only staying for a short time) you can still contribute to the standard survey of the European atlas. All you have to do is to report a list of species during a timed visit of 1-2 hours following a walked route (not staying in the same place). Timed visits should be done during the time of day birds are most active, i.e. usually early morning. Thus, the data requirements are:

  • Species must be properly determined (caution – making complete species list requires very good knowledge and determination skills)
  • A report on an observation of a species must include (information indicated as optional is preferred as it will significantly increase the value of the records):
    • Date of observation
    • Site name (name of a town, village, mountain etc) as precisely as possible
    • Geographic location: 10×10 or 1×1 square, route or area covered (e.g. in BirdTrack), or geographical coordinates (GPS) of the centre of the surveyed area.
    • Species recorded
    • Atlas code (see below for explanation)
    • Time (beginning and end)
    • Name of observer(s) and contact (e-mail)
    • Number of recorded individuals (optional)
    • Any further details (optional)

Both approaches can be easily combined. For instance, you can start with a timed visit early in the morning, and can spend the rest of the day visiting different habitats searching for other species.

Examples

Species list for 50×50 km square with highest atlas code, provided on an Excel sheet

Download an Excel table for non-standardised data.

Download an Excel table for standardised data.

Species list for a defined polygon in the example of BirdTrack

Precise location in the example of the ornitho app

Location in the example of Observation.org

When

Breeding season, i.e. spring from c. second half of April to end of June. Caution: the breeding season depends on latitude and altitude, climatic conditions etc. If you are not sure, please check the timing with the coordinators.
Data from years 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 are desirable. In case you have data slightly older, e.g. from 2012 or 2011, such data may be also useful, especially in countries with lack of data. Please consult it with European coordinators.

Data delivery

The data can be delivered in a simple format (e.g. Excel spreadsheet) containing the required information (see above for data requirements for standardised and non-standardised surveys). We prefer that data are delivered to national coordinators, who are best placed to validate them before submitting them to the European coordinators. Direct delivery to the European coordinators is also possible. In such cases, we will always check the data with the national coordinators, and we will provide them with the data from their countries.

Online recording

Some countries use an on-line recording portal, where your observations could be easily entered and thus become available to the national coordinator. Using the national portals is recommended where possible. However, if you have difficulties using the national portal (e.g. for language reasons) we recommend to use the following portals with international coverage:

  • BirdTrack: this portal has been developed by the British Trust for Ornithology. The global entry tool allows to enter data anywhere in the world. It has been adapted to the purposes of EBBA2.
  • Ornitho portals: for all of the portals belonging to the ´Ornitho´ family an application for mobile phones, called NaturaList, has been developed that allows entering data from across Europe. It has special features for collecting atlas data.
  • Observation.org: This global and multi-taxa on-line portal and its associated application for mobile phones allow entering bird observations across Europe.

If you use BirdTrack, the Ornitho app or Observation.org, data will be passed on to national coordinators and to the central EBBA2 coordination. Make sure that you tick the appropriate boxes when you subscribe to a scheme to allow data transfer.
If you want to use other portals, such as Ebird or if you are unsure what portals to use, please contact the European coordinators for advice.

Useful tips and suggestions

  • What should be avoided: making day lists containing information for very different sites, in particular when you have been covering large distances between sites.
  • Any casual record will be valuable. However, we encourage ornithologists to try to record complete lists of observed species at a given site in timed visits as described above.
  • If a species is very common you don’t have to record every single observation but make sure that you note it if you come to a new square.
  • For rare or localised species it is useful to record all observations. This can help national coordinators for conservation purposes beyond the atlas.
  • Any data from any surveyed site will be valuable, but visiting several sites with different habitats may improve the atlas coverage a lot.
  • Do not only visit birding hotspots. Data from less visited regions and “unattractive” habitats are equally important.
  • Write all your observations down while you are out in the field.
  • Document your fieldwork, take pictures, videos and share your experience with others.
  • Consult the national coordinators for safety instructions and guidance.
  • Respect national legislation and local cultural specifics.

Keep us informed

In order to improve our work, please fill the simple form. It enables us to keep records about effort and coverage for the European atlas.

Contacts

European coordinators:
Sergi Herrando, ornitologiaornitologia.org
Petr Voříšek, EuroMonitoringbirdlife.cz
Verena Keller, verena.kellervogelwarte.ch

Further information available at http://www.ebba2.info

Download the guideline in PDF.


Appendix
Atlas codes
Code Description

Non breeding
0 Species observed but suspected to be still on migration or to be summering non-breeder.

A. Possible breeding
1 Species observed in breeding season in possible nesting habitat
2 Singing male(s) present (or breeding calls heard) in breeding season

B. Probable breeding
3 Pair observed in suitable nesting habitat in breeding season
4 Permanent territory presumed through registration of territorial behaviour (song, etc.) on at least two different days a week or more apart at the same place
5 Courtship and display
6 Visiting probable nest site
7 Agitated behaviour or anxiety calls from adults
8 Brood patch on adult examined in the hand
9 Nest building or excavating nest-hole

C. Confirmed breeding
10 Distraction-display or injury-feigning
11 Used nest or eggshells found (occupied or laid within period of survey)
12 Recently fledged young (nidicolous species) or downy young (nidifugous species)
13 Adults entering or leaving nest-site in circumstances indicating occupied nest (including high nests or nest-holes, the contents of which can not be seen) or adult seen incubating
14 Adult carrying faecal sac or food for young
15 Nest containing eggs
16 Nest with young seen or heard

Contact us

General matters of the EBCC

Ruud P.B. Foppen, Chairman of the EBCC
Head of Research Department at SOVON – Dutch Centre for Field Ornithology
P.O. Box 6521
NL-6503 GA Nijmegen
The Netherlands
Phone: +31 (0)649390514
E-mail: ruud.foppensovon.nl

Bird Census News, the journal of the EBCC

Anny Anselin, Chief Editor of Bird Census News
Research Institute for Nature and Forest
Kliniekstraat 25
BE-1070 Brussel
Belgium
Phone: + 32 (0)2 525 02 07
E-mail: anny.anselininbo.be

Contact on the all EBCC Board members

Contact on the EBCC delegates

Contact persons of the EBCC projects:

2nd European Breeding Bird Atlas (EBBA2)

Verena Keller, Chair of the EBBA2 Steering Committee
Swiss Ornithological Institute
Seerose 1
CH-6204 Sempach
Switzerland
Phone: +41 41 462 97 20
E-mail: verena.kellervogelwarte.ch
Web: www.ebba2.info

Pan-European Common Bird Monitoring Scheme (PECBMS) project

Petr Voříšek, PECBMS project coordinator
Czech Society for Ornithology
Na Bělidle 34
CZ-150 00 Prague 5
Czech Republic
Phone: +420 257 212 465
E-mail: EuroMonitoringbirdlife.cz
Web: www.ebcc.info/pecbm.html

EuroBirdPortal (EBP) project

Gabriel Gargallo, EBP project coordination
ICO – Catalan Ornithological Institute
Museu de Ciències Naturals
Passeig Picasso s/n
ES-08003 Barcelona
Spain
Phone: +34 93 458 78 93
E-mail: anellaornitologia.org
Web: www.eurobirdportal.org

A new study published in Science documents strong effects of climate change on common bird populations in both Europe and the USA

Scientists have shown for the first time that common bird populations are responding to climate change in a similar pronounced way in both Europe and the USA. An international team of researchers led by Durham University, UK, found that populations of bird species expected to do well due to climate change had substantially outperformed those expected to do badly over a 30 year period from 1980 to 2010. The research, conducted in collaboration with the RSPB, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) and European Bird Census Council (EBCC), is published in the journal Science. Coordinators of national common bird monitoring schemes in 25 European countries have contributed significantly to the paper too. Continue reading A new study published in Science documents strong effects of climate change on common bird populations in both Europe and the USA

European birdwatchers unravel how birds respond to climate change

New details on how birds respond to climate change have been revealed by volunteer bird watchers all over Europe. The information they´ve gathered shows birds respond to changing conditions in different seasons of the year. While some species benefit from these changes, birds that are adapted to colder regions stand to lose. This knowledge can help predict future bird communities in Europe and focus the effort to tackle the effects of climate change on the most vulnerable species. Continue reading European birdwatchers unravel how birds respond to climate change

What affects skylark abundance in Central European countries?

It has been shown that the switch from extensive agricultural practices to cultivating crops with tall and dense sward is among the major agents negatively affecting farmland bird abundance and species richness. As most of our knowledge is based on studies from Western Europe, we counted skylarks in three Central European regions with different agricultural histories and practices, Eastern Czech Republic, Western Germany and Central Poland, to analyse factors affecting its abundance. Continue reading What affects skylark abundance in Central European countries?

European Breeding Bird Atlas 2 is seeking for communication & network officer

The second European Breeding Bird Atlas (EBBA2) is a project of the European Bird Census Council (EBCC), which aims to describe the current distribution and abundance of birds in Europe and explain changes since the first atlas. This international project is run by a coordination team based at different institutions in Europe.

The successful candidate will have a chance to participate in an important international project linking science, nature conservation and policy at European level, and to develop their career in the friendly environment of the Czech Society for Ornithology, EBCC and other project partners across Europe.

The post is initially offered on a full-time basis for one year with possible extension.

Suitable candidates should apply enclosing a full CV, motivation letter (BOTH in English) and two contacts for a reference to Petr Voříšek, EBBA2 coordination team, Czech Society for Ornithology, Na Bělidle 34, CZ-15000 Praha 5, Czech Republic, e-mail EuroMonitoringbirdlife.cz.

Closing date 31 August 2015.

Download full job description.

2015-07-24