What is the Avian Knowledge
The Avian Knowledge Network (AKN) is an
international organization of government and non-government
institutions focused on understanding the patterns and dynamics of bird
populations across the Western Hemisphere.
The goal is to educate the public on the dynamics of bird
populations, provide interactive decision-making tools for land
managers, make available a data resource for scientific research, and
advance new exploratory analysis techniques to study bird
The AKN is organizing observation-based bird monitoring in three
fundamental ways. First, we are developing new ways to
discover these data by displaying metadata in the bird
monitoring data registry (BMDR). Second, we are expanding existing data
schemas to organize these data through the bird
monitoring data exchange (BMDE). Third, we are building the technical
infrastructure to allow access to these data through a
federated data grid environment. For more information follow the links
Who are we?
NatureCounts is one of the nodes of the Avian Knowledge Network.
This site is maintained by staff at Bird
Studies Canada. Additionally, we have active partnerships with researchers and staff at
the Cornell Lab of Ornithology,
Point Reyes Bird Observatory and
Redwood Sciences Lab of the United States Forest Service.
We coordinate our activities across many bird observation data
resources, and provide data to GBIF and
Additionally, we are involved in international efforts to develop
biodiversity information standards.
What kinds of data are available?
The AKN is bringing together observation data on
birds. This includes data from bird-monitoring, bird-banding, and
broad-scale citizen-based bird-surveillance programs.
All of the observation data are unified within a distributed
information architecture that is constantly expanding. All data can be
made accessible, and are archived in the various AKN nodes, including this one.
While the focus of NatureCounts is primarily on Canadian bird data, you will also
find other data from projects coordinated by Bird Studies Canada and its partners.
Some of the same data are available through other AKN nodes, but some are only available
from this site.
What can you do with the data?
You can explore the data resources of the AKN via
interactive maps that allow you to view the distribution of bird
populations during any time of the year and across all of the Western
Hemisphere or within user-defined geographic extents.
You can obtain and visualize information on long term population
trends of Canadian birds.
You can explore an individual species pattern of distribution or the
species richness of a particular location via dynamically generated
summary tables and graphs.
Finally, much of the observational data can be directly accessed and
How can you contribute?
The AKN is interested in any bird observational
data. If you are interested in contributing to the
AKN please review how we organize the data resources
and the infrastructure requirements necessary. If you have any
questions please contact us.
We are also looking for examples of how the AKN
is being used. If you have developed a data visualization or analysis
using the AKN data please tell us!
The AKN is organizing observation-based bird monitoring data for the
rapid discovery, access, and analysis of these vast resources.