You may find every PECBMS news also on the FB account, which is now called EBBA2, but brings news regarding all EBCC projects. We plan to rename the account in the near future.

Report on the Pan-European Common Bird Monitoring Scheme, December 2019

This report summarizes the activities of the Pan-European Common Bird Monitoring Scheme (PECBMS) between July 2019 and December 2019.

You may find every PECBMS news also on the FB account, which is now called EBBA2, but brings news regarding all EBCC projects. We plan to rename the account in the near future.


Collection of national species indices
Regular collection of updated national species population trends and indices successfully passed off and national coordinators from 28 European countries sent us their data of 170 common bird species for which we produced a European index.

Publication of new European species trends and common bird indicators
Species indices were used for computation of European wild bird indicators, for the period 1980–2017. We computed the indicators for Europe and its regions (West, North, Central & East and South Europe), whole EU, New and Old EU states and BioGeo habitats. The indicators were computed for common farmland, common forest, and all common birds. The European species indices and common bird indicators have been published at the website on December 6th 2019. Altogether, 28 countries provided their data for this update.

The 2019 update of the wild bird indicators was published in December.

Further development of the Forest bird indicator
We have been working also on a new forest bird indicator for EU policy purposes as agreed at the miniworkshop in Solsona. Enya O’Reilly & Simon Butler (University of East Anglia) made progress on species selection for the indicator. We provided them with our regional contacts, who elaborated regional species lists. The new recommended species list for the forest bird indicator is nearly finished.

Technological development and improvement of data flow and analysis

The development of an on-line tool for collecting TRIM output files from national coordinators including automatic data quality control was finished and used in this year’s data collection.

The program TRIM, TRends and Indices for Monitoring data, used to determine species population trends, was rebuilt by Statistics Netherlands as a package for the freely available and widely used open source program R. However, most of the national coordinators used TRIM (instead of RTRIM) this year to calculate national species population trends.

An on-line tool for collection of site level data is under preparation. It´s pilot version should be finished before the end of 2019 by ICO and the tool will be further developed during 2020.

Further development of monitoring in Europe

In November we received a negative decision regarding our application to the Central European Initiative to support the bird monitoring in Moldavia.

In November we applied for EC tender called “Technical and scientific support in relation to the delivery and development of wild bird indicators for the EU“. In December we received a response that we successfully passed the evaluation of the contract. Czech Society for Ornithology (CSO) is going to be the main tenderer with RSPB, Stitching BirdLife Europe, Catalan Institute for Ornithology (ICO) and University of East Anglia (UEA) as the subcontractors.

Presentation of results and promotion

PECBMS contributed to both EBCC Newsletters published in the reporting period (in September and Decmber and spread to more than 400 recipients, see archive of the newsletter.

Winter issue of the EBCC electronic newsletter was spread on the 6th of December 2019. The title photo was kindly provided by Ondřej Prosický,

Alena Klvaňová gave a talk called: „Developing the bird monitoring network“ at the Meeting of the Butterfly Conservation Europe and European Butterfly Monitoring Scheme (eBMS), on 3-5 December 2019 in Laufen, Germany. PECBMS was invited to promote the scheme and share the experience.

In December we presented PECBMS at the Meeting of the Butterfly Conservation Europe and we look forward to the future cooperation.

In December 6th we published a leaflet presenting the trends of 170 common European bird species based on data from 28 countries covering 38 years (1980–2017). The leaflet summarises outputs of the 2019 data update and presents an example of a species with very contrasting regional trends – the Common Starling. We are happy to announce that this year the leaflet was printed on a paper certificated with the Forest Stewardship certificate (FSC) which promotes the responsible management of the world´s forests.

New leaflet is freely available for download at our website.

Upgrade and improvement of the web site

PECBMS website has been actualised on regular basis. Since June 2019 we published eight news, updated the publications, PECBMS methods and Trends and Indicators.

In June we replaced the PECBMS part of website with the link to

PECBMS news were regularly published on the FB account of EBBA2, which serves as a promotional platform for all EBCC projects (15 news directly concerning PECBMS).


PECBMS data were used in papers published:

  • Gregory R. D., Škorpilová J., Voříšek P., Butler S. 2019: An analysis of trends, uncertainty and species selection shows contrasting trends of widespread forest and farmland birds in EuropeEcological Indicators 103: 676-687
  • Heldbjerg H. et al. 2019: Contrasting population trends of Common Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) across Europe. Ornis Fennica, PDF
  • Mason L. R. et al. 2019:Population responses of bird populations to climate change on two continents vary with species’ ecological traits but not with direction of change in climate suitability. Climatic Change,

We have an on-line evidence of data requests and requests for research cooperation.

Anna Gamero (PECBMS research officer) organised site-level data and delivered the data to the researchers who asked for them, always in accordance with the agreements of the national coordinators.

Maintain and update network of cooperating organizations and individuals
Up to date PECBMS mailing list contains 429 individual contacts from 64 countries or territories, including coordinators of national monitoring schemes, EBCC national delegates and BirdLife partner organisations as well as policy people and decision makers. We providedadvice and consultations to the national coordinators upon request.  

Advice and consultations to the national coordinators were provided upon request.

Reporting and assistance to the main stakeholders of the project, administration

In September we joined an interview with Veronika Vyšná, our contact person in Eurostat. We discussed the PECBMS methods in detail. We also discussed some kind of data estimates to speed up the process of wild bird indicators´production (which would provide one extra number in the time series). This could be an option if the national coordinators will not be able to speed up the process of national species indices delivery. We hope in further successful cooperation with Eurostat.

In November we joined the EBCC Board Meeting in Vogelwarte Sempach, Switzerland. We presented a regular PECBMS report and informed the board on the progress of the current project as well as on the plans for the future, e. g. the meeting of PECBMS Steering and Technical Group in spring in Prague, or about the application for the new EC tender.

EBCC board met in Vogelwarte Sempach, Switzerland, in November 2019. Left to right: Gabriel Gargallo, Observer (ICO), Verena Keller, Vice-chair (Vogelwarte Sempach), Mark Eaton, Chairman (RSPB), Henning Heldbjerg, Delegates Officer, Bird Census News editing team (Aarhus University, Denmark), Dawn Balmer, Secretary (BTO), Mikhail Kalyakin (Zoological Museum of Moscow), Aleksi Lehikoinen, Research and Data Research Officer, Bird Census News editor (Finnish Museum of Natural History), Ainars Auninś (Department of Zoology and Animal Ecology University of Latvia), Chris van Turnhout, Treasurer (SOVON), Alena Klvaňová, Observer, PECBMS project manager (CSO), Danae Portolou, Communications Officer (Hellenic Ornithological Society), Szabolcs Nagy, Observer (Wetlands International), Jean-Yves Paquet, Communications Officer (Birdlife Belgium).