Surveys - Safe dates and habitats

The table below provides “safe dates” and the most frequently used breeding habitats for each species. Safe dates give the period when most migrants will have left, and those birds that remain are likely nesters. Breeding codes, especially those in the Possible and Probable categories, generally should not be used outside the safe dates for a given species. Confirmed breeding codes, are less likely to cause errors, but even confirmed breeding should be well documented (e.g., a detailed description of the bird species and the behaviors that confirm breeding) if it happens outside the safe dates for a species because these records are likely to be of particular interest.

If you find a species and you feel that there is strong evidence of nesting, even though you are outside the safe dates or in an inappropriate habitat, please provide additional documentation. Species marked with an asterisk (*), below, or any species not on this list, always require additional written documentation because they are rare breeders in the state that we want to fully document for the historical record. Information on reporting rare sightings is provided here.

Please download Safe Dates here (PDF)