EBBA2 How to contribute by field data collected guidelines.

European Breeding Bird Atlas
How to contribute by field data collected
during birdwatching trips abroad. Brief
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.
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
Bosnia & Herzegovina
Kazakhstan (European part)
Russia (European part)
Taulant Bino, [email protected]
Karen Aghababyan, [email protected]
Elchin Sultanov, [email protected]
Semion Levy, [email protected]
Dražen Kotrošan, [email protected]
Stoycho Stoychev, [email protected]
Vlatka Dumbovic Mazal, [email protected]
Andy Simpkin, [email protected]
Brecht Verhelst, [email protected], Alexander
Abuladze, [email protected]
Danae Portolou, [email protected]
Sergey Slyarenko, [email protected]
Metodija Velevski, [email protected]
Mihailo Jovicevic, [email protected]
Larisa Bogdea, [email protected],
[email protected]
Zoltan Szabo, [email protected]
Mikhail Kalyakin, [email protected]
Milan Ruzic, [email protected], [email protected],
Dragan Simic, [email protected]
Kerem Ali Boyla/Dilek Şahin, [email protected]
Igor Gorban, [email protected], Olga Yaremchenko,
[email protected]
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
i) non-standardised surveys (opportunistic data) or
ii) standardised surveys (data collected with standardised effort and methodology).
Both approaches will contribute to the production of European distribution maps (in a grid
50x50 km), the latter will be also used for modelling the distribution in Europe at a scale of
10x10 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:
o Date/s of observation (one day or a few consecutive days)
o Geographic location (see below for details)
o Site name (name of a town, village, mountain etc)
o Species recorded
o Atlas code (see below for explanation)
o Name of observer(s) and contact (e-mail)
o Indicate whether you recorded all species detected or just a selection of
species (optional)
o Time (optional)
o Duration of the observation (optional)
o Number of individuals observed (optional)
o Any further details (optional)
Geographic location and type of information:
There are different possibilities to contribute:
 Provide a species list for a 50x50 km square.
 Provide a species list for a particular location, defined as square (e.g. 10x10 km or
1x1 km), polygon, route or point.
 Provide the precise location of each observation.
Species list for 50x50
km square with highest
atlas code, provided on
an Excel sheet
BirdTrack polygon
Species list for a defined
polygon in the example
of BirdTrack
Precise location in the
example of the ornitho
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 10x10 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):
o Date of observation
o Site name (name of a town, village, mountain etc) as precisely as possible
o Geographic location: 10x10 or 1x1 square, route or area covered (e.g. in
BirdTrack), or geographical coordinates (GPS) of the centre of the surveyed
o Species recorded
o Atlas code (see below for explanation)
o Time (beginning and end)
o Name of observer(s) and contact (e-mail)
o Number of recorded individuals (optional)
o 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.
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 nonstandardised 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
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
 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 has been developedthat allows entering data across Europe. It has
special features for collecting atlas data and will become available in 2014.
If you use BirdTrack or the Ornitho app, 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 Observado 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
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
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.
European coordinators:
Sergi Herrando [email protected]
Petr Voříšek [email protected]
Verena Keller [email protected]
Further information available at http://www.ebcc.info/new-atlas.html
Atlas codes
Code Description
Non breeding
Species observed but suspected to be still on migration or to be summering nonbreeder.
A. Possible breeding
Species observed in breeding season in possible nesting habitat
Singing male(s) present (or breeding calls heard) in breeding season
B. Probable breeding
Pair observed in suitable nesting habitat in breeding season
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
Courtship and display
Visiting probable nest site
Agitated behaviour or anxiety calls from adults
Brood patch on adult examined in the hand
Nest building or excavating nest-hole
C. Confirmed breeding
Distraction-display or injury-feigning
Used nest or eggshells found (occupied or laid within period of survey)
Recently fledged young (nidicolous species) or downy young (nidifugous species)
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
Adult carrying faecal sac or food for young
Nest containing eggs
Nest with young seen or heard