How rare are inland long-tailed ducks?

Earlier this week, Steve Broker posed this question about long-tailed ducks on the CTbirds listserve.  Both he, and Tom Robben, provided partial answers based on data from Christmas Bird Counts and eBird, which is to say, quite rare, but certainly not unheard of. Available data, however, are quite limited. Christmas Bird Counts are restricted to a 3-week window of time, and eBird records are highly dependent on how much birding attention inland sites get. Continue reading “How rare are inland long-tailed ducks?”

Preliminary 2018 breeding results available for review

Although winter field work is the focus for most atlas volunteers right now, considerable work on the breeding portion of the atlas is continuing behind the scenes. This week, we have launched a major update of the web site, with the release of preliminary data from the 2018 breeding season. The update might not be obvious as it appears only on the interactive map, and only then if you focus in and click on an individual block. If you do this, however, you will find that for each of the 601 blocks, there is now a new web page that lists the species reported from that block last summer. Continue reading “Preliminary 2018 breeding results available for review”

The trouble with fledglings

Recent posts on the ctbirds listserv have highlighted the fact that, although it is still mid-summer, migration is well under way for some species. At the same time, data collection for the breeding portion of the atlas will continue for almost another month. This overlap between migration and breeding reintroduces the need for safe dates to ensure that we are correctly attributing observations to the blocks in which breeding happens. Continue reading “The trouble with fledglings”

12 species to confirm in every block

The recent discovery of nesting sedge wrens at the Connecticut Audubon Society’s center in Pomfret, is perhaps the most exciting find of the atlas so far.  But, although we hope to gain a better understanding of where rare species occur in the state, we also want to use the project to better understand the status of common species.  With this in mind, here are a dozen species that it should be possible to confirm in nearly every block. Continue reading “12 species to confirm in every block”

Block boundary problems – part 1

Earlier this week, I spent quite a bit of time at Hammonasset State Park.  Because I had some time to kill, I went to Hammonasset Point – the area just south of Rock Pond, at the start of the Moraine Trail, which sits in a separate atlas block from the rest of park.  My goal was to see what I could find that was nesting right in the tiny piece of land that is in block 120B. Continue reading “Block boundary problems – part 1”

Download the Summer Bird Count circle map

Last week, I wrote about the ways in which people conducting Summer Bird Counts this month can also contribute data to the atlas project.  To provide additional help to determine how blocks relate to count circles, we have produced a downloadable Google Earth (.kml) file, which shows the SBC circles.  If you have Google Earth on your phone and have already downloaded the data layer showing the block boundaries, you can add this layer to see how they overlap. Continue reading “Download the Summer Bird Count circle map”