Access Raw Data

Data Availability

Now that the Minnesota Breeding Bird Atlas (MNBBA) project has been completed and the data have been carefully reviewed, the data will be made available through the Midwest Avian Data Center (MWADC), a regional node of the Avian Knowledge Network. The use of these data is governed by a Data Sharing Agreement between Audubon Minnesota and the Avian Knowledge Network. All MNBBA data used must be properly acknowledged when used in any public documents or peer-reviewed literature. Proper citations are provided in the data sharing agreement that will be available on the MWADC website.

Major Data Sources

Three major sources of breeding bird data were collected by the Atlas during its five-year time span (2009-2013).

Data collected by volunteer observers and paid staff

This is the breeding bird atlas data collected by volunteer observers and paid staff in 6,987 nine square mile atlas blocks distributed across the state of Minnesota. Well-documented and standardized atlas methodologies were used in collecting these data. The data provided to the Midwest Avian Data Center (MWADC) are summarized at the block level; only the highest level evidence code for each species reported in each block is provided. These summarized data will be available through MWADC.

Data collected by staff at the Natural Resources Research Institute

This is the breeding bird atlas data collected by staff at the Natural Resources Research Institute within three, 10-minute point counts, conducted in each of 2,337 priority atlas blocks that are evenly distributed across the entire state. These data are available in two forms:

  1. Data from all three point counts are combined and summarized at the block level. Only when these data documented new species for a block, or a higher evidence code for a species already detected in the block by BBA volunteers and paid surveyors, were they added to the MNBBA data for a given block. These summarized data also will be available through MWADC.
  2. The original point count data are available for project use only and not to the MWADC for a limited time period. Beginning July 1, 2018, the point count data will be available. Specific data fields associated with each point are as follows:
    • Comments
    • Time of detection (time interval with the 10 minutes when bird was detected; e.g. within 0-2 minutes; 2-3 minutes, etc.)
    • Type of Detection (e.g. singing, calling, flyover, etc.)
    • Distance of detection (e.g. within 50 meters of center point; 50-100 meters of center point, or outside of 100 meter circle)
    • BBA evidence code
    • Species 4 letter alpha code
    • Species Common Name
    • Number of individuals
    • GPS coordinates

Data solicited by Audubon Minnesota

This is the breeding bird data solicited by Audubon Minnesota from numerous resource agencies, conservation organizations, and academic institutions that were collected during the same time frame as the atlas (2009-2013 breeding seasons) and could be attributed to specific nine square mile atlas blocks. These data were not submitted to MWADC. Because the MWADC and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are working to secure many of these data sources separately, including those already in the MNBBA data base, it would be a duplication of effort that could cause confusion to the users. Although they are not available for download to users they are displayed on the official MNBBA website.

Data Requests

Users who visit the MWADC website and who wish to request partial (e.g. data on individual species or locations) or complete downloads of the summarized data before July 1, 2018, or the original data at any time, must fill out a data sharing agreement (available through the MWADC) and submit it to Audubon Minnesota. The request should include a one page document that describes how the requested data will be used and indicate the analytical methods being employed. Access to the requested data is dependent upon approval by Audubon Minnesota and the Natural Resources Research Institute. After July 1, 2018, the summarized data files will be available for download from the MWADC site as long as any use of the data in publications or public materials is properly acknowledged.