About the Bird Maps

These maps show where birds were recorded during the breeding season by the Minnesota Biological Survey (MBS). MBS bird surveys began in 1988 and have been conducted every year from 1990 to present.

MBS Bird Survey Status

  • Bird Surveys have been completed in 79 of 87 counties
  • Over 940,000 bird records have been obtained

Locations of Observations

Each species map shows:

What records are included?

  • Only MBS bird survey records are mapped. A record is one or more individuals, observed (seen or heard) at a specific location.
  • Breeding evidence for the mapped records ranges from breeding season observations (bird in suitable nesting or foraging habitat during the breeding season) to confirmed nesting.
  • In some cases mapped observations include foraging birds away from nesting sites (e.g., raptors perched in a tree, pelicans on a lake, herons or kingfishers at the edge of a wetland, swallows flying low over a field, etc.)
  • Most locations of records are accurate to within 400 meters (¼ mile) or less. A few survey locations represent lists of species recorded only to the township level (36 square miles) – mapped to the center of a township.

What records are not included?

  • Obvious migrant shorebirds or other species observed far outside of probable breeding areas/habitat
  • Species locations known only to the county level
  • Species data not yet compiled
  • Records from other sources (non-MBS).

Note: These maps only display information found by MBS and do not contain information gathered by other agencies or organizations. Absence of a bird record does not necessarily mean that it does not occur in the area. MBS data for additional areas will be added as they become available.