eBird Canada: Northwest Territories and Nunavut

Image of Hoary Redpoll
Photo: © Cephas, 2015
Hoary Redpoll

The Northwest Territories/Nunavut (NWT/NU) Bird Checklist Survey was initiated in 1995 by the Canadian Wildlife Service in response to needs identified in the Canadian Landbird Monitoring Strategy for better monitoring of arctic breeding birds and birds with primarily northern ranges. In 2012, the NWT/NU Bird Checklist Survey was integrated into eBird Canada. eBird is an on-line, real time checklist program for birds seen anywhere in the world. All historical data collected by the NWT/NU Bird Checklist Survey has been uploaded and any future data will be inputted directly into the eBird database. By integrating the checklist program into eBird, the data entry process is streamlined, more observers are able to submit and track their data, and everyone has access to the observations.

Checklist data can provide a great deal of useful information that is otherwise difficult to collect in a large, remote area like the North. By working cooperatively with volunteers, a database of bird sightings is being used as baseline information for further studies, environmental assessments, and more accurate mapping of bird distributions. It is hoped that the database could be used to detect major bird population changes in all regions of the north through increased participation in the program.

Data requests

All historical data collected through the NWT/NU Checklist Survey and any observations submitted to eBird can be requested from the eBird website. You will need an eBird account to request a data download. eBird also provides instant access to data summaries such as range maps, species abundance charts and geographic hotspots for bird activity. Data summaries and downloads can be accessed on the 'Explore Data' page on the eBird website.

How to participate

All you need to participate is an eBird account and the ability to identify birds. Once you have collected your data, you can submit it directly online at the eBird website on the 'Submit Observations' page.

You may wish to use our data form, called a checklist, to record your data in the field. The form contains all the necessary fields for submitting data to the eBird database and also includes a comprehensive list of species for the Northwest Territories and Nunavut.

If you would like contribute data but do not want to create an eBird account, simply mail your completed checklist hardcopies or scan electronic copies to NWTChecklist@ec.gc.ca. We also accept spreadsheets or field notes, assuming they conform to eBird methodology.

NWT/Nunavut bird checklist survey newsletters

The NWT/Nunavut Bird Checklist Survey was the first program to gather widespread data on birds in the north. This program has helped to better our understanding of species' distributions and abundances throughout much of the territories. In the past, the NWT/NU Checklist Survey published an annual newsletter, which highlighted the progress of the program, interesting observations, and stories about northern birders. Click on the links below to read past newsletters:

Now that the program is integrated with eBird Canada, check the eBird website for updates from the north.

Contact us

There are 3 ways to contact us about the historical NWT/NU Bird Checklist Survey or about bird observations in the north:

  1. Send us an email at:
  2. Send us some regular mail at:
    eBird Canada, NWT and Nunavut
    Canadian Wildlife Service
    Box 2310, 5109 - 52nd Street, 4th Floor
    Yellowknife, NT, X1A 2P7
  3. Give us a call at 867-669-4734 or send us a fax to 867-873-8185

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