Summer Bird Counts and the atlas project

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”

2,174 and counting …

As of this afternoon, 2,174 eBird checklists have been shared with the ctbirdatlas account.  Within those checklists, we have received almost 10,000 individual records with breeding codes attached, representing 152 potential breeding species.  Given that the breeding season is still getting going for many species, this level of effort bodes well for the project’s success and we are very grateful to everyone who has shared their checklists. Continue reading “2,174 and counting …”

Why only 20 hours? Can I do more?

For the breeding portion of the atlas we are asking block adopters to commit to 20 hours of time spent looking for breeding birds in their block over the course of the three-year study.  To some, this does not seem like very much time and many have asked whether 20 hours is enough time to adequately survey a block, and whether then can spend more time.

The short answer is that you can spend as much time as you like in your block – we will take (and use) as much data as you send us. Continue reading “Why only 20 hours? Can I do more?”

Backing up records from “unsafe” dates

A week or so ago, I provided two rules of thumb to reduce confusion over the use of safe dates:

1. If you are unsure whether to submit a record, do so.
2. Always submit any record that confirms breeding (i.e., warrants a 2-letter code).

The second rule has a firm basis in the way we will use the atlas data – anything that is confirmed is a solid record no matter what.  The first rule, however, simply defers the decision of what to include to us during the data management phase of the project.  This is good in that it means we can standardize what gets included and what does not, but we still have to decide when a record is counted as breeding evidence. Continue reading “Backing up records from “unsafe” dates”

Atlas update from the COA annual meeting

This weekend the COA held its annual meeting in Middlesex Community College, and it was great to see so much enthusiasm for the atlas project (to view slides from the talk I gave, click here).  A number of questions came up during the meeting and I will try to address the ones I heard repeatedly on the blog over the next week or two.  But, first, I wanted to pass on a few statistics about where the project stands. Continue reading “Atlas update from the COA annual meeting”