Project Nestwatch

Birds Canada

Environment and Climate Change Canada

Project name: Project NestWatch

Data Access Policy

Project NestWatch

Our policy is to encourage staff, volunteers, partners and others outside the organization to publish important findings, based in whole or in part on Project NestWatch data, in appropriate publications. It is also our policy that appropriate credit is given to the partner organization(s) for their contribution(s) to the publication of such findings.

All publication(s) or product(s) using any Project NestWatch data are required to adhere to the present policy.

Multiple uses of Project NestWatch data.

Unless otherwise arranged, any Project NestWatch data are provided to researchers/authors with the clear understanding that it will be used for one specific purpose only (e.g. proposed publication, graduate thesis). If the researchers/authors wish to use the same data for a purpose different from that of the original request, the researchers/authors must re-apply for permission.

Redistribution of the data

Without specific approval, no Project NestWatch data can be distributed beyond the researchers/authors requesting the data. Raw data should not be made available for download through the Internet, but derived data (maps, tables) are usually acceptable. If you plan to present data on the Internet, the nature of the visualization(s) must be specified in your data request.

Approval process

Requests for data at AKN level 3 or 4 must be accompanied by a 1-2 page written proposal outlining the nature and topic of the research, submitted with the data request through the data access portal on NatureCounts. If the proposal is acceptable, the reviewer will approve the data release and inform the researchers/authors. In some cases, the reviewer will have to consult with partners or clients before data can be released. Release of precise geographic locations of species at risk in particular will generally be restricted and only provided when the need has been clearly demonstrated.

Fee for Data

Data accessed through the NatureCounts web site do not normally entail any data processing fees. Requests that require additional manual data extractions or analyses will typically be charged a fee of CA$75 per hour, CA$500 per day or CA$1500 per week to extract and assemble data. This fee can be waived, in part or in full, for project partners and not-for-profit researchers/authors.

Authorship and Acknowledgements

If a request for data includes proposed research with significant staff contributions, then agreement on the role of involved staff, joint authorship, and order of authors on publications must be reached before the data are released.

The researchers/authors agree to acknowledge the organization(s) responsible for the project (as well as partners when applicable) in all relevant publications using the statement provided below. A review of manuscripts (or parts thereof) before submission to journals is requested as a courtesy, especially in cases where the operating practice is a subject of discussion or conclusions.

We recommend that Project NestWatch data accessed from NatureCounts be cited as follow:

Project NestWatch. 2024. Data accessed from NatureCounts, a node of the Avian Knowledge Network, Birds Canada. Available: Accessed: <>.

In addition, we require that the following statement be included in the acknowledgement section of any publication:

We would like to thank the following institutions for providing access to Project NestWatch data: Birds Canada, Environment and Climate Change Canada, as well as all of the volunteer participants who gathered data for the project.

If data retrieved from NatureCounts are to be used for web-based products (maps, summaries, etc.), you must contact us ( for instructions on applicable contributor/partner logo(s) and website link(s).


The lead organizations (Birds Canada, Environment and Climate Change Canada) retain the copyright on all data provided to researchers/authors, unless the copyright has been legally transferred to a client.

Revocation of Privileges

Any researcher/author not abiding by this policy or the terms of this policy may forfeit any future access to Project NestWatch data or other data made available on NatureCounts.