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”

Nest boxes

Many recent messages on the CTbirds listserv have mentioned the use of nest boxes, and just this week the chickadees nesting by my backdoor hatched their young. It’s a good time, then, to remember that nest boxes can make it easy to confirm breeding for a variety of species. And, that incidental records of birds in boxes can really help fill gaps for a number of species. Continue reading “Nest boxes”

Can we confirm robins in every block?

Last summer I wrote a blog post highlighting 12 species that it should be possible to confirm as breeders in almost all atlas blocks.  That list is reproduced here:

1. Song sparrow
2. American robin
3. Gray catbird
4. Black-capped chickadee
5. Mourning dove
6. Northern cardinal

7. Blue jay
8. House finch
9. Common yellowthroat
10. House sparrow
11. Chipping sparrow
12. Tufted titmouse

 

Continue reading “Can we confirm robins in every block?”

Where have all the parids gone? (Answer: probably nowhere)

The summer of 2018 proved to be a really great start for the atlas, but whenever we present last year’s data we are constantly pointing out that comparisons to the first atlas need to be made with care. In part, we make these cautions because the data are still being reviewed to ensure we’ve made no errors. But, the main reason is simply that the historic data come from five years of field work, not just one. Continue reading “Where have all the parids gone? (Answer: probably nowhere)”

Early spring targets: ruffed grouse

Spring is well and truly here, and there are signs of breeding all around. Species that can be confirmed as breeders should be reported to the atlas, but what about everything else that you see? At this point there are more than a dozen species that are within safe dates, so any time you see any of the species on the list below in suitable nesting habitat, please report them. This week, we are planning a series of posts to highlight some of these species and to contrast the data we gathered last year with information from the first breeding bird atlas in the 1980s. As we’ve cautioned before, all 2018 data are preliminary as we are still checking records and fixing known errors, but the information provides a good snapshot of what we’ve learned so far. Continue reading “Early spring targets: ruffed grouse”