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?”

12 species to confirm in every block

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”

Download the Summer Bird Count circle map

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”