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Ontario Forest Bird Monitoring Program

Photo: Jenny Andrews

The main objective of the Forest Bird Monitoring Program (FBMP) is to evaluate trends in interior forest bird abundance to balance other bird survey methods taken from the roadside which are ineffective for evaluating trends of interior forest bird species.


FBMP has been in implementation since 1987. Since its beginning 250 participants have surveyed nearly 400 sites and recorded close to 200 species. FBMP uses the Point Count method in its surveys, which is based on the I.P.A or ‘Indice Ponctuel d’Abondance’ technique developed by Jacques Blondel and his colleagues in France. The method is now used extensively in Europe and North America with good success. Our procedure is a modified version tailored to the needs of a monitoring program and gives good estimates of trend and habitat associations. The FBMP was transitioned to Birds Canada in 2020 from the Ontario Division of Environment & Climate Change Canada’s Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS).

Rose-breasted Grosbeak Photo: Yousif Attia

The primary focus of FBMP is to survey birds in large forests. In 1994, the FBMP expanded to include some smaller forests, although these are generally large enough to accommodate at least three point count stations. Each forest is termed a site, and each large site contains five point count stations. Point count stations are a minimum of 100m from the forest edge and at least 250m apart.

For more information about FBMP, or read the FBMP protocol and sign up, visit: