Are we there yet?

In recent posts we’ve emphasized blocks with especially few hours, or especially few confirmed species, as our highest priorities for additional atlas visits. As a result, we’ve made great inroads in some of the blocks where data were most lacking. With a month or less remaining to fill gaps for most species, we thought it would also be good to revisit the “big picture” and see how things look across all blocks. Continue reading “Are we there yet?”

Updated priorities

A couple of weeks ago, we posted a map showing which atlas blocks were priorities in terms of the number of survey hours they had received. Since then, a number of people have made targeted efforts to visit those blocks and ensure we have data from all of them. Given how much things have changed, we now have an updated version of that map, which shows just how much progress has been made (full screen version here): Continue reading “Updated priorities”

Missing starlings?

As 2021 is the last year of data collection for the breeding portion of the atlas project, our focus is very much on filling gaps – looking for species that have been missed and, especially, seeking evidence of confirmed breeding. At the start of the year I was shocked at how many blocks were missing some very common species. Several of the species that really stood out are associated with human habitation, and I wrote about house sparrows and rock pigeons earlier this year. Continue reading “Missing starlings?”

Which warbler is most widespread?

Warblers are well into their breeding season. For example, this morning in Eastford, I watched a female Blackburnian warbler gathering cobwebs and small twigs, while a male sang nearby. Nearby, I also saw both black-and-white and yellow warblers carrying food back to their nestlings. Most warblers, however, have fairly specific habitats, and are unlikely candidates for the list of species that could be found in any block. Continue reading “Which warbler is most widespread?”

Confirming house finches

Back in July 2018 – midway through the project’s first breeding season, I identified 12 species to confirm in every block. Based on results from the first atlas, and my experience atlasing across the state, these 12 species seemed like they could be found pretty much anywhere. Whether that’s true is hard to say without ensuring that we have good coverage in every block. So, the next couple of months are the last chance to follow up and see if these species can be found in places they have not yet been reported from. Continue reading “Confirming house finches”

In search of pigeons

Earlier this week, I wrote about the value to the atlas of searching for house sparrows. The next day I had to drive to Brooklyn, Connecticut, so I took my own advice and looked for blocks with no house sparrow records between my destination and home. Sure enough, there were three, and with only minor detours to drive by farm buildings in each block I was able to find the species in all of them, confirming it in one where I saw a bird with nest material.  I also confirmed breeding for house finch in one block, by seeing a female taking nest material into a bush where it was building a nest. Continue reading “In search of pigeons”