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 ….”

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”

Cuckoos: declining, but increasing?

In a post on the CTbirds listserv yesterday, Will Schenck described watching a yellow-billed cuckoo at Greenwich Point Park. Cuckoos are species that I long thought of as relatively hard to find in Connecticut. In the past 3-4 years, however, I have been seeing them much more often. In fact, right now, I usually see or hear multiple cuckoos, and often both species, any morning I go birding in deciduous forest or open shrubby habitat. Part of the apparent increase may just be that I’m spending more time birding in those habitats than I used to, especially with all the atlas field work I’ve been doing. But I have assumed that the gypsy moth outbreak of recent years has also played a role and increased the numbers of these caterpillar specialists. Continue reading “Cuckoos: declining, but increasing?”