Following last weekend’s COA meeting, we received a lot of questions about how to collect atlas data. Answers to most questions can be found on the project web site, but we are also running training sessions around the state over the next couple of months. Continue reading “Atlas training”
Atlas update from the COA annual meeting
This weekend the COA held its annual meeting in Middlesex Community College, and it was great to see so much enthusiasm for the atlas project (to view slides from the talk I gave, click here). A number of questions came up during the meeting and I will try to address the ones I heard repeatedly on the blog over the next week or two. But, first, I wanted to pass on a few statistics about where the project stands. Continue reading “Atlas update from the COA annual meeting”
Hawks with sticks
A few days ago, Greg Hanisek wrote about his suggestions for finding hawk nests to confirm breeding for the atlas project. Greg was careful to point out the ethical issues involved with nest finding and the importance of not approaching too closely. With that issue in mind, it’s important to note that there are several ways to confirm breeding without getting close to, or even finding, a nest. Continue reading “Hawks with sticks”
Over the past two weeks, people have been reporting American woodcocks displaying at sites throughout the state. So, this weekend, just before dark, I made the 5-minute trek to the nearest overgrown field to my house to see if I could document them in atlas block 40F. Sure enough, shortly after 7 pm, I heard a distant “bzzzt”, followed quickly by another, and another. Over the next 20 minutes I also saw several display flights high up into the sky. Continue reading “Woodcocks galore”
One of the great things about living in Connecticut is the wealth of experience in the birding community. The atlas team is taking advantage of that expertise not only to help us gather data, but also to provide insights to help volunteers become better atlasers. Here, Connecticut Warbler editor and long-time birder, Greg Hanisek provides tips on finding evidence for breeding hawks in your block: Continue reading “Nesting hawks”
When is a pair of ducks really a pair of ducks?
Yesterday, a quick stop at a small pond in Mansfield turned up 2 gadwalls (a male and a female), 5 green-winged teals (3 males, 2 females), and a dozen mallards. The gadwalls were swimming around together, and one of the female teals was sitting close to one of the males. Given this observation, it would be tempting to report both species with breeding code P (pair) to the atlas project. Continue reading “When is a pair of ducks really a pair of ducks?”
Which eBird checklists should you share?
Spring is just around the corner, but as the recent snow has shown us, it’s not quite here yet. Some birds are starting to breed, but most are not. So, how do you know which birds to report to the atlas project? This question is a particular concern for people who are already entering their sightings into eBird and may be unsure when they should share a checklist with the ctbirdatlas account. Continue reading “Which eBird checklists should you share?”
Over 250 atlas blocks assigned!
It is just over a week since the atlas web site was launched and the response from the state’s birding community has been overwhelming (in a good way). Continue reading “Over 250 atlas blocks assigned!”
Although it is too soon to begin surveying atlas blocks in earnest, a few species have begun to nest and atlas data have started to flow in. For example, last weekend I saw a common raven fly across the Merritt Parkway in Orange (block 94F) with a stick in its beak – carrying nest material (atlas code CN). I was a little surprised about the location, but I checked with local birder Frank Gallo who confirmed that there is pair that nests on a cell tower nearby. Continue reading “Nesting ravens”
Atlas web site launched
Data collection for the Connecticut Bird Atlas begins this year and the full web site went live this weekend, so we have a lot of new information available. We will use this blog to post updates about the project over the next few years. Here are a few introductory comments taken from our initial email to volunteers. Continue reading “Atlas web site launched”