Founded in 1883, the American Ornithologists' Union is the oldest and largest organization in the New World devoted to the scientific study of birds. Although the AOU primarily is a professional organization, its membership of about 4,000 includes many amateurs dedicated to the advancement of ornithological science.
The Lab is a nonprofit membership institution whose mission is to interpret and conserve the earth's biological diversity through research, education, and citizen science focused on birds. Our programs work with citizen scientists, government and nongovernment agencies across North America and beyond. We believe that bird enthusiasts of all ages and skill levels can and do make a difference.
The BBS is a cooperative effort between the U.S. Geological Survey's Patuxent Wildlife Research Center and the Canadian Wildlife Service's National Wildlife Research Centre to monitor the status and trends of North American bird populations. Following a rigorous protocol, BBS data are collected by thousands of dedicated participants along thousands of randomly established roadside routes throughout the continent. Professional BBS coordinators and data managers work closely with researchers and statisticians to compile and deliver these population data and population trend analyses on more than 400 bird species, for use by conservation managers, scientists, and the general public.