SPI-Birds Network & Database, or the Studies of Populations of Individual Birds, is a grassroots initiative connecting those working on populations of individually-marked breeding birds. On this website, you can learn more about our work, search for studies of birds across the world, and request data for these studies.
Who are we?
SPI-Birds Network is a network of those who study and collect data on individually-marked breeding birds. SPI-Birds Network offers expert advice on:
- how to start with studying and monitoring a new population (e.g., we can advice on the best approach to field set-up and data management).
- joining existing projects within the Network, or starting new projects based on the data hosted in the Database. We especially encourage students and young researchers to get in touch.
SPI-Birds Database is a data hub of data on individually-marked birds, which can be requested by anyone within or outside the Network:
- registers studies of populations of individually-marked breeding birds and the people involved in these studies.
- hosts breeding and individual data from over 200 breeding populations of individually-marked birds, in the original data format (i.e., as stored by each researcher or research group) and in the SPI-Birds standard data format (see here).
- acts as a central contact point for accessing the data.
- conducts quality checks on the data to correct for any mistakes in the datasets, and to warn users about potential issues when using the data.
Why do we do this?
- Archive data to prevent data loss.
- Make it easier for users to identify studies that might be of interest for their project.
- Reduce the time involved in formatting data.
- Provide a community standard of data formatting and vocabulary that can be followed by anybody establishing a new field study.
- Increase the quality and integrity of data.
Become a member or use the data
Become a data-contributing member
Do you collect data on individually-marked breeding birds, and are you interested in contributing to our initiative? Join the SPI-Birds Network and Database as a contributing partner. We welcome both researchers and members of the general public who run a field study of individually-marked breeding birds. Please reach out to us via email@example.com or fill in the online metadata form.
Become a non-data-contributing member
Are you interested in the philosophy and future plans of SPI-Birds, but do you not coordinate an individual-based field study yourself? Join our SPI-Birds Network Google Group to regularly receive news and updates. Please reach out to us via firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to join this group.
Become a data user
Anyone can use the database to search for studies of interest, and to request the access to the data. Please go to 'Find a study' and explore.
The project is funded by NWO (Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research) grant to Dr. Antica Culina, NIOO-KNAW, Centre for Biodiversity Dynamics (NTNU, Trondheim), NLBIF, and CEFE CNRS (Montpellier).
The following documents form the core of the SPI-Birds Network and Database:
- The community-defined standard protocol for collecting individual-level bird data. The SPI-Birds developers create tailored pipelines to convert any data format (as stored with the data owner) into SPI-Birds' standard format. Appendices to the standard format are available here.
- The pipelines that convert data into the SPI-Birds' standard format are available through an R package our GitHub pipeline repository.
- The standard data quality check procedure that is performed on each pipeline to ensure data integrity and quality.
- The Data Licenses document describes licensing options for data hosted at SPI-Birds.
Older versions of these documents are available on our GitHub documentation repository.
The organizational structure of SPI-Birds includes two main components:
- The advisory component includes the Advisory Council and the SPI-Birds Network Members.
- The executive component consists of the Executive Board and four Teams: Coordinators, Developers, Technical Architecture, Outreach.
- Sabine Hille, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna
- Marcel Eens, University of Antwerp
- Erik Matthysen & Frank Adriaensen, University of Antwerp
- Wendt Müller, Arne Iserbyt, University of Antwerp
- Nathaniel T. Wheelwright, Patricia Jones, Bowdoin Scientific Station, Kent Island
- Sanja Barišić, Davor Ćiković, Vesna Tutiš, Jelena Kralj, Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Institute of Ornithology
- Peter Adamík, Miroslav Král, Palacky University in Olomouc
- Miloš Krist, Palacky University in Olomouc
- Raivo Mänd, Vallo Tilgar, Marko Mägi and Jaanis Lodjak, University of Tartu
- Agu Leivits, Estonian Environmental Board
- Tapio Eeva, Markus Ahola, University of Turku
- Markku Orell, Seppo Rytkonen & Emma Vatka, University of Oulu
- Anne Charmantier, Samuel Caro, Claire Doutrelant, Arnaud Grégoire, Marcel Lambrechts, Céline Teplitksy, Denis Réale, CEFE-CNR & UQAM
- Alexis Chaine, Andy Russel, CNRS
- Blandine Doligez, LBBE-CNRS
- Olivier Gilg & Loïc Bollache, Université de Bourgogne Franche Comté
- Sylvie Massemin & Josefa Bleu Institut Pluridisciplinaire Hubert Curien
- Lucy Aplin, Gustavo Alarcon-Nieto, Max Plank Institute of Animal Behavior
- Sandra Bouwhuis, Institute of Avian Research
- Niels Dingemanse, Alexia Mouchet, LMU Munich
- Michael Griesser, University of Konstanz
- Michaela Hau, Caroline Deimel, Max Planck Institute for Ornithology
- Benedikt Holtmann, LMU Munich
- Bart Kempenaers, Mihai Valcu, Max Planck Institute for Ornithology
- Gábor Seress, András Liker, University of Pannonia
- János Török, Gergely Hegyi, Balázs Rosivall, Eötvös Loránd University
- Camillo Cusimano, Bruno Massa, Daniela Campobello, Stazione Ornitologica, Palermo
- John Quinn, University College Cork
- Aya Goldshtein, Tel Aviv University
- Teru Yuta, Yamashina Institute for Ornithology
- Shinichi Nakagawa, Eduardo S. A. Santos, Benedikt Holtmann, Carlos E. Lara, Department of Zoology, University of Otago
- Kjell Einar Erikstad & Tone Kristin Reiertsen, Norwegian Institute for Nature Research
- Adele Mennerat, University of Bergen
- Ole Wiggo Røstad, Norwegian University of Life Sciences
- Tore Slagsvold, Oslo University
- Mariusz Cichoń & Szymon Drobniak, Jagiellonian University
- Szymon Drobniak, Jagiellonian University
- Anna Dubiec & Tomasz Mazgajski, Museum and Institute of Zoology, Polish Academy of Sciences
- Wojciech Kania, Polish Academy of Sciences
- Sonia Landowska, Ornithological Station (Museum and Institute of Zoology Polish Academy of Sciences)
- Marta Szulkin, University of Warsaw
- Ana Cláudia Norte, University of Coimbra, Portugal
- Alexandr Artemyev, Karelian Research Center
- Anvar Kerimov, Elena Ivankina, Andrey Bushuev, Tatyana Ilyina, Lomonosov Moscow State University
- Andrey Tolstoguzov, Karelian Research Centre
- Emilio Barba, University of Valencia
- Eduardo Belda, Universitat Politècnica de València
- Julli Broggi, Jordi Figuerola, Estación Biológica de Doñana, CSIC
- Alejandro Cantarero, Juan Moreno, National Museum of Natural Sciences Madrid
- Silvia Espín, Pablo Sánchez-Virosta, Mario León-Ortega, José Manuel Zamora-Marín , Antonio Zamora-López, Pedro Jiménez, Tapio Eeva, Antonio J. García-Fernández, University of Murcia
- Judith Morales, National Museum of Natural Sciences Madrid
- Jaime Potti, David Canal, Jesús Martínez-Padilla, Carlos Camacho, Estación Biológica de Doñana-CSIC & Pyrenean Institute of Ecology-CSIC
- Juan Carlos Senar, Natural Sciences Museum Barcelona
- Debora Arlt, SLU Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
- Caroline Isaksson, Lund University
- Jan-Åke Nilsson, Lund University
- Hannah Watson and Johan Nilsson, Lund University, see Tawny Owls project
- Can Bilgin, Pinar Kavak, Middle East Technical University
- Malcolm Burgess, PiedFly.Net, University of Exeter
- Davide Dominoni, University of Glasgow
- Simon Evans, University of Exeter
- Jarred Hadfield, University of Edinburgh
- Ian Hartley & Mark Mainwaring, Lancaster University
- Steffen Oppel, RSPB Centre for Conservation Science
- Julia Schroeder & Terry Burke, Imperial College London, The University of Sheffield
- Ben Sheldon & Ella Cole, EGI, University of Oxford
- Sue Anne Zollinger & Selvino de Kort, Manchester Metropolitan University
United States of America
- Ian Nisbet, I. C. T. Nisbet & Company
Newsletter April 2023
In the past period we have been working on a range of projects and developing ideas for the future of SPI-Birds. In the most recent newsletter we update you on: 1) the latest version of the standard data format, 2) the standardisation of metadata, and 3) past and ongoing grant applications. Find the newsletter here: SPI-Birds Newsletter April 2023.
As part of the metadata standardisation procedure we have developed an online form that makes it easier for people interested in joining the SPI-Birds Network to contribute metadata and/or data of their field studies. To reach a new wave of researchers and bird enthusiasts, particularly from geographical areas and studying bird species that are currently underrepresented in the Network, we have created a promotion flyer.