Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas

Bird AtlasOrder your copy now!

The Atlas of the Breeding Birds of Ontario is a collaborative undertaking of Ontario NatureBird Studies Canada, Canadian Wildlife ServiceOntario Field Ornithologists, and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. It is a volunteer-based effort that used a rigorous scientific approach to determine the distribution and populations of bird species breeding in Ontario, and how those numbers have changed since the 1980s.

The Atlas of the Breeding Birds of Ontario, 2001-2005 is the culmination of two years of planning, five years of field work and two years of analysis. In the end, dedicated volunteers logged 150,000 hours in the field and submitted 1.2 million individual breeding bird records - a truly remarkable feat!

L’Atlas des oiseaux nicheurs de l’Ontario, 2001-2005 est maintenant disponible en français. Vous pouvez vous le procurer ici au coût de 63 $, incluant taxes et frais d’envoi.


Atlas milestones

  • More than 3,000 volunteers registered with the project.
  • 286 species were reported with breeding evidence in the province from 2001-2005.
  • Breeding records were submitted for more than 4,800 10km squares: covering areas of the province from Hudson Bay to Pelee Island.
  • Over 68,000 point count surveys (which quantify species abundance) were conducted and will be used to produce the first province-wide maps of the relative abundance of many species.
  • Over 18,000 forms were submitted for rare or colonial species.

The Atlas of the Breeding Birds of Ontario (1981-1985), published in 1987, is now out of print, but a digital version has been made available online from the Atlas webpage (www.birdsontario.org/atlas/atlasbook.jsp).

Atlas data is a critical resource for scientists and conservation and can be used to inform recovery plans for species at risk, environmental assessments, and land use planning. The atlas is an invaluable reference for both environment and resource managers and birders alike.

The Ontario breeding bird atlas contains more than 700 full colour pages of photographs, maps, and charts for the 300 species that breed in the province for the price of $63. Profits from the sale of atlases go towards bird conservation projects in Ontario. Order your copy now!



The Atlas is a monumental achievement. Not only is it a stirring example of co-operative research but the detailed results have been presented with a remarkable clarity and style.

Invaluable for the thoroughness of its science, the Atlas is also a wonderful book to simply browse. The species accounts are clean, jargon-free, and inviting; the graphics contain a wealth of visual information; and the text is profusely illustrated with photographs of the birds. This book is a must for everyone interested in birds, Ontario, and the natural world.

–Margaret Atwood & Graeme Gibson
Joint Honorary Presidents of BirdLife International's Rare Bird Club


For more information on the atlas project, to see sample pages from the publication, or to purchase a copy of the book, see the Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas website at www.birdsontario.org.

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