Recently, we’ve been focusing blog posts on common species, especially those easy to find near home. Yesterday, however, Greg Hanisek mentioned breeding mergansers in a post on the ctbirds listserv, so I thought it would be a good time to take a look at the preliminary data for these species. Continue reading “Merganser maps”
During the 1980s breeding atlas, American robins were confirmed as nesters in almost every atlas block. This fact, combined with the knowledge that robins show no signs of decline in Connecticut or in the east as a whole, has led us to treat the species as a rough barometer of how good our survey coverage is. Our assumption is that, where there are gaps in the robin map, there clearly needs to more survey work done – elsewhere might be lacking too, but not as severely. Continue reading “Confirming robins”
Working as an ornithologist, one of the most common questions I get from the public is about the birds that build nests on people’s homes. When someone describes the nest they’ve found, they frequently say that they are placed on top of a light fixture, on a beam under a deck, or on some other similar structure. These nests usually turn out to belong to eastern phoebes. Continue reading “Confirming phoebes”
Where did all the house sparrows go?
Yesterday, I posted on the need for more European starling breeding records. Today, it is the turn of house sparrows – perhaps the only Connecticut bird species disliked more (though there is another contender, which I’ll get to soon enough!). Continue reading “Where did all the house sparrows go?”
Despite their splendid adult plumage and human-like ability to adapt to almost any surroundings, European starlings are rarely a favourite among birders. Introduced from Eurasia on the grounds that Shakespeare mentioned them in Henry IV, Part 1, they are often seen as a pest. Continue reading “Confirming starlings”
On Friday, I wrote a post about how we determine whether blocks are “complete” for the breeding portion of the atlas project – using a combination of the time spent in the block, the number of species found, and the number of those species for which breeding is confirmed. Continue reading “Priorities”
When is a block complete?
Although our decision to add a fourth year of breeding surveys to the atlas project was mostly based on the developing pandemic, another key variable we considered was how close we are to having enough data for the project to be a success. Of course, “enough” is a relative term, so we had to choose criteria to determine when a block should be considered complete. Continue reading “When is a block complete?”