Monitoring is critical to guide and evaluate management, assess the status of rare species, raise “red flags” for declining species, and determine Vermont’s contribution to regional populations.

New conservation issues, changing population trends, and advances in monitoring techniques require continually revisiting monitoring strategies.

The BBS has been conducting roadside surveys since 1966.

The Atlas was one of the first coordinated efforts in Vermont to survey birds, and provided a baseline snapshot of the distribution of bird species across the state.

BBS under-samples some species, e.g., those associated with wetlands, high elevations, forest interiors, other habitats that are not well-represented along roads, raptors, nocturnal species, and species that are wide-ranging, rare, specialized, and difficult to detect.

A variety of monitoring projects that address gaps in BBS data have cropped up since the first Atlas; most are citizen-science based.

Focused research in Vermont has resulted in long-term data sets that have allowed for evaluation of population dynamics, productivity, limiting factors, and management options. Long-term data have been collected for Bicknell’s Thrush (VCE), grassland birds (UVM and University of New England), Common Tern (VTDFW and Audubon Vermont) and Gray Jay (B. Barnard).

“Casual observations” made by birders have documented rare species, annual phenology, and the spread of novel species. Examples include Records of Vermont Birds (1973 to 2002), Vermont Bird Records Committee, and Vermont eBird (initiated in 2004), which already has nearly a half-million bird records scattered from 7,000 locations.