Field work for the winter atlas is well under way. The goal is to spend approximately 10 hours surveying each block during November-December and then another 10 hours during January-February. If you’ve not yet begun, consider using the Thanksgiving break to make a plan and start your surveys. Continue reading “Planning your winter atlas surveys”
It’s been a little while since we gave an update on the status of atlas data collection, but we recently did some preliminary data summaries for the upcoming COA newsletter and I thought I would share some of those results here. Continue reading “Mid-summer atlas update”
The recent discovery of nesting sedge wrens at the Connecticut Audubon Society’s center in Pomfret, is perhaps the most exciting find of the atlas so far. But, although we hope to gain a better understanding of where rare species occur in the state, we also want to use the project to better understand the status of common species. With this in mind, here are a dozen species that it should be possible to confirm in nearly every block. Continue reading “12 species to confirm in every block”
My last two posts have focused, at some length I’m sorry to say, on the trickier aspects of data collection at block boundaries. Today, I want to address a related issue, but one that is much simpler to resolve. Continue reading “Block boundary problems – part 3”
Last week, I wrote about the ways in which people conducting Summer Bird Counts this month can also contribute data to the atlas project. To provide additional help to determine how blocks relate to count circles, we have produced a downloadable Google Earth (.kml) file, which shows the SBC circles. If you have Google Earth on your phone and have already downloaded the data layer showing the block boundaries, you can add this layer to see how they overlap. Continue reading “Download the Summer Bird Count circle map”
Connecticut birding has a long history of citizen science, of which the Connecticut Bird Atlas is only the most recent incarnation. Summer Bird Counts (SBCs) – the mid-year equivalent of Christmas Bird Counts – have been run in the state for nearly three decades and aim to count birds within several 15-mile diameter circles scattered across the state to help track population changes. Continue reading “Summer Bird Counts and the atlas project”
One of the goals of the Connecticut Bird Atlas is to document changes in distributions since the first atlas was done in the 1980s. At that time, turkey vultures were widespread, but breeding was concentrated in the western half of the state, away from the coast, and winter concentrations were still noteworthy. Black vultures were considered very rare, with no evidence of breeding recorded during the atlas, although they were starting to be seen more frequently. Both species have increased. Just how much, is something we hope the new atlas will tell us. Continue reading “Confirming vultures”
Over the past few weeks we have run several atlas training sessions throughout the state. With breeding entering full force, we hope that most people know what is required for the breeding portion of the study. We do, however, have two remaining sessions, one at the Connecticut Audubon Society’s Center at Fairfield on the 19th May and one at Connecticut Audubon’s Center at Bent of the River in Southbury on 3rd June. Full details are available on our web site.
If you cannot make these, or just want a refresher from one of the earlier training sessions, here are the slides from the most recent session, which was held in Mansfield.
And of course, you should also feel free to contact us, or your regional coordinator with any questions. We will also review data as it is submitted, and follow up if we have questions about anything.
A new guest post from Greg Hanisek (lightly edited):
During the 1982-86 Connecticut Breeding Bird Atlas, the nesting range of Yellow-bellied Sapsucker was limited essentially to the northern part of Litchfield County (see map below). When I moved to Connecticut in 1992, one had to visit places at or above the latitude of the town of Litchfield to find them during the breeding season. Continue reading “Where are sapsuckers now?”
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”