State of the Birds Report 2009: Powered by Citizen Science

April 15, 2009
2009 State of the Birds report cover
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Bird watchers contributed to the nation’s first State of the Birds report On March 19, 2009, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and partners released the first-ever comprehensive State of the Birds report for the United States. From arctic and aridlands to oceans and forests, the report summarizes the state of our nation’s birds—indicators of the health of our environment.

The report analyzed four decades of data from citizen-science participants, primarily from the Christmas Bird Count and Breeding Bird Survey. At a press conference announcing the report, Lab director John Fitzpatrick discussed the importance of this concerted monitoring, concluding, “Citizen science rocks!”

Thanks to thousands of participants, scientists documented declines of birds in many habitats, but also found powerful examples of habitat restoration and conservation reversing previous declines.

To see the full report and a video summarizing its conclusions, please visit


Originally published in the April 2009 issue of BirdScope.

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