Comparing spatially explicit models (PIX) and the Partners in Flight (PIF) approaches to estimate population sizes


A collaborative project that developed spatially explicit boreal bird models in Alberta, Canada, to inform continental bird conservation.



For nearly two decades, BAM has worked to develop robust methods for estimating population sizes of North American boreal birds. In 2019-20, we continued to work on a project comparing population estimates of boreal birds in Alberta, derived from spatially explicit models and the Partners in Flight approach, which applies adjustments to North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) counts to get population estimates. We also quantified the effects of detectability, roadside bias, and other factors on these population estimates (see Box 1 for more details). In 2020, this work was published in The Condor.


This work was a collaborative effort with the Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute (ABMI), Canadian Wildlife Service (Environment and Climate Change Canada), and United States Geological Survey.



Sólymos et al. (2020). Lessons learned from comparing spatially explicit models and the Partners in Flight approach to estimate population sizes of boreal birds in Alberta, Canada The Condor 122.


Blog Post: 

Made in Alberta models help continental bird conservation, ABMI, June 17, 2020


Media Coverage: 

CBC News: Survey estimates much higher Alberta bird populations than thought, Jun 21, 2020