So many crows ….

The winter portion of the atlas project is largely focused on compiling lists of species for each block and on using timed one-hour surveys to provide a standardized measure of the number of individuals of each species. We do, however, also have some more specialized protocols to ensure that we capture key aspects of the state’s birdlife that might otherwise be missed.  Sites where large numbers of birds gather to roost are of particular interest, and one of our goals is document such locations (see the protocol here).  In the article, below, Greg Hanisek describes how he recently found a huge crow roost in Waterbury: Continue reading “So many crows ….”

Report those owls!

A hooting great horned owl in my yard last night, prompts me to remind everyone that, although we are still in the depths of the winter atlas, we are also a month into the reporting safe dates for Connecticut’s largest nesting owl.  Any great horneds heard or seen between now and June should be considered potential breeders.  If they are in breeding habitat, then they will count for both the breeding and winter atlases. Continue reading “Report those owls!”

Winter block-busting

Atlas volunteer coordinator Craig Repasz writes about the New Haven Bird Club’s recent block-busting efforts:

I took a slow hike in the snow to the summit of Mt Tom on one of the coldest mornings this winter. I was covering one mile an hour on a trail that was crisscrossed with deer, possum, and mouse tracks. I did not have the time to investigate them. I passed by a wet area that will probably become a vernal pool in a few months, but I did not stop to think about singing wood frogs, I had no time. Continue reading “Winter block-busting”

Atlas update handout

Recently, 50-60 atlas volunteers gathered at Hammonasset State Park for our second annual volunteer appreciation event.  At the gathering, we discussed data collection so far, as well as plans for the upcoming winter atlas field season.  Beforehand, Min Huang compiled a handout that summarizes much of the data collected so far.  For those who were unable to attend, that handout can be seen here. Continue reading “Atlas update handout”

Block busting independently

Several bird groups have now run block busting trips to help fill gaps in atlas coverage. Block busting does not have to be done in organized groups though. This weekend, for example, Margaret Rubega and I had some time to kill in western Connecticut, so we spent a few hours searching under-surveyed blocks in the Danbury area. We focused on block 76D, but also spent some time in adjacent blocks, adding species in half a dozen blocks. Continue reading “Block busting independently”