The California Avian Data Center (CADC), a regional node of the Avian Knowledge Network (AKN) hosted by Point Blue Conservation Science, integrates data on birds and ecosystems to improve conservation outcomes today and in the future.

CADC's goal is to make timely and relevant scientific data and analyses readily accessible to habitat managers, conservation practitioners, scientists, and the public.

  • For habitat managers and conservation practitioners – the latest interpretations of data as they apply to geographic areas and jurisdictions are available to derive trends, indices, interactive maps, and other visualizations from the collective data sources of participating partners.
  • For decision makers – data are summarized and interpreted to guide policies and decisions about valuable natural resources such as water.
  • For scientists – data are collected, stored, and made available so that research questions can be answered collaboratively and accurately at different scales within the state.
  • For the public - summaries, resources, and the latest information on the needs and status of California’s birds.

CADC currently hosts millions of bird observations for California spanning more than 40 years. These data are available for download, and are used in several interactive applications, including decision support systems for habitat managers working in the central valley and the Gulf of The Farallones, and projected effects of climate change on California’s terrestrial birds.

Building on the AKN infrastructure (also see: PowerPoint presentation about AKN and CADC data architecture), CADC develops on-line analytical tools to enable habitat managers and conservation planners to derive trends, indices, interactive maps, and other visualizations from the collective data sources of participating partners.

We are actively adding resources for all types of birds, and enhancing the tools that are already available. Our goal is to provide access to 60 million data records of California avian research observations by the end of 2010. Please contact us if you would like to participate.


This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. DBI-0542868 http://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward.do?AwardNumber=0542868.

Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation or Point Blue Conservation Science.

Further support has been supported by grants to Point Blue Conservation Science (formally PRBO Conservation Science) by the Hewlett Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the National Biological Information Infrastructure, and by the board, membership, and other supporters of Point Blue Conservation Science.

Recommended Citation

There are several scenarios where users will need to cite CADC, the AKN and its data resources. To cite CADC in general please use:

Ballard, G., M. Herzog, M. Fitzgibbon, D. Moody, D. Jongsomjit, D. Stralberg. 2008. The California Avian Data Center. [web application]. Petaluma, California. www.prbo.org/cadc. (Accessed: Date [e.g., February 2, 2009]).

Several of the resources hosted by CADC have their own recommended citations (check individual pages). For examples of how to cite datasets and the Avian Knowledge Network in general, please refer to this page: http://www.avianknowledge.net/content/about/recommended-citation.

AKN and CADC Data Architecture

If you are interested in more detail about how CADC and AKN structure, organize and manage observation data, check out this PowerPoint presentation.


Point Blue Conservation Science is dedicated to conserving birds, other wildlife and ecosystems through innovative scientific research and outreach. Founded as Point Reyes Bird Observatory in 1965, our award-winning bird ecology research, management tools and field training programs are advancing biodiversity conservation on land and at sea. Birds are excellent indicators of environmental health. Relatively inexpensive to monitor and widely distributed, birds serve as ideal proxies for the ecosystems they inhabit.

Through science, partnerships and outreach, Point Blue’s 140 scientists work to maximize nature’s benefits for wildlife and people in our rapidly changing world.

Working in partnership with wildlife and habitat management agencies, nongovernmental organizations, academic institutions, private landowners, fisheries and others, our award-winning science advances win-win solutions to today’s conservation challenges. Point Blue helps to ensure that every dollar invested in conservation yields the most for biodiversity- benefiting our environment, our economy and our communities!

In recognition of our accomplishments and outstanding contributions to environmental conservation in California, Senator Barbara Boxer awarded Point Blue with a Conservation Champion Award in 2006. Point Blue was honored with the Partners In Flight “Leadership Award” from the US Fish and Wildlife Service, and the national “Conservation Partner Award” from the USDA Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management.
Contact: Grant Ballard gballard@pointblue.org

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology 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. We invite you to learn more about our areas of study.
Contact: Steve Kelling stk2@cornell.edu 607-254-4444607-254-4444

Bird Studies Canada is a not-for-profit organization built on the enthusiastic contributions of thousands of volunteer Citizen Scientists. Data from Bird Studies Canada's volunteer surveys and targeted research projects are used to identify significant population changes and help direct conservation planning. The mission of Bird Studies Canada is to advance the understanding, appreciation, and conservation of wild birds and their habitats, in Canada and elsewhere, through studies that engage the skills, enthusiasm, and support of its members, volunteers, and the interested public.

Audubon California is building a better future for California by bringing people together to appreciate, enjoy and protect our spectacular outdoor treasures. As a dynamic field program of the National Audubon Society with more than 50 affiliated chapters, they are able to provide a rich outdoor experience for more than 100,000 members and supporters and at the same time promote a variety of robust conservation programs to protect birds, wildlife and habitat across the state.

Audubon California focuses on three key strategies to accomplish their goals:

  • Direct conservation
  • Policy & advocacy
  • Education & outreach

Klamath Bird Observatory (KBO) advances bird and habitat conservation in the Americas through science, education, and partnerships. KBO conducts scientific studies to monitor and inventory populations, contributing towards the Partners In Flight International Bird Conservation Program's efforts to keep common birds common.

Working in the Klamath-Siskiyou Bioregion of southern Oregon and northern California, and beyond, KBO provides information to help federal, state, and local land managers better protect and enhance bird populations and their habitats.

Landbird Monitoring Network of the Americas LaMNA's purpose is to bring together people who love and monitor birds, from the smallest bird banding and censusing stations to large bird observatories and government agencies. Some specific goals are to

  • increase communication between researchers through newsletters and meetings,
  • facilitate cooperative research projects spanning regional boundaries,
  • make bird banding data available to a wide audience,
  • provide tools to researchers and managers for data exploration and analysis, and
  • preserve data from loss

The David and Lucile Packard Foundation David and Lucile Packard believed America to be the home of a unique type of organization dependent upon private funding and volunteer leadership. Together, universities, national institutions, community groups, youth agencies, family planning centers, and hospitals constitute a great American tradition that complements government efforts to focus on society's needs.

The David and Lucile Packard Foundation was created in 1964 by David Packard (1912–1996), the co-founder of the Hewlett-Packard Company, and Lucile Salter Packard (1914–1987). Throughout their lives in business and philanthropy, the Packards sought to use private funds for the public good, giving back to a society which enabled them to prosper.

The National Biological Information Infrastructure (NBII) is a broad, collaborative program to provide increased access to data and information on the nation's biological resources.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 "to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare..."

California Partners In Flight (CalPIF)
Established in 1992, CalPIF's mission is to promote the conservation of resident and migratory landbirds and their habitats in California through research, monitoring, education, and collaboration among public and private landowners and managers, government agencies, non-government organizations, and individuals and other bird conservation efforts.
Contact: See the CalPIF Structure and Committee webpage for information on who to contact for more information.

Avian Knowledge Alliance
The Avian Knowledge Alliance (AKA) is an international group of organizations dedicated to collecting, caretaking, and communicating knowledge gained from the study of birds. The AKA promotes and helps design coordinated monitoring projects, facilitates data contribution to the AKN, solicits feedback from managers and other stakeholders on what information and data visualization tools are most urgently needed, and helps ensure that important conservation information reaches intended audiences.

Institute for Bird Populations
The Institute for Bird Populations (IBP) is a tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) California nonprofit corporation dedicated to research and dissemination of information on the abundance, distribution, and ecology of birds, and to facilitating scientifically informed conservation of birds and their habitats.

The California Landscape Conservation Cooperative (CA LCC) is a management-science partnership among agencies, non-governmental organizations and other entities that informs on-the-ground conservation actions addressing climate change and other stressors within and across landscapes.

Photo Credits

Male Wilson’s Warbler photo courtesy: T. K. Tolford