Which species have been confirmed?

Yesterday, I pointed out that evidence for confirmed breeding by any species should be submitted to the atlas, even if we are not yet within that species’ “safe dates”.  In light of that recommendation, I thought it would be worthwhile to list the species for which we have already received confirmed records.  This list is growing every day – just this weekend I noticed a pair of chickadees excavating a nest hole in a dead tree stump in my backyard (see video here). Continue reading “Which species have been confirmed?”

What are safe dates? Why do they matter?

Safe dates are designed to provide guidance on when it is safe to assume that a species is nesting in an area.  They are necessary because many migratory species will engage in breeding behaviors before reaching their nesting sites.  Consequently, you might see ducks courting or hear warblers singing when they are still hundreds of miles from where they breed.  The atlas project aims to identify which species actually nest within each block, however, so including all these migratory species could be very misleading. Continue reading “What are safe dates? Why do they matter?”

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”

Woodcocks galore

Over the past two weeks, people have been reporting American woodcocks displaying at sites throughout the state. So, this weekend, just before dark, I made the 5-minute trek to the nearest overgrown field to my house to see if I could document them in atlas block 40F.  Sure enough, shortly after 7 pm, I heard a distant “bzzzt”, followed quickly by another, and another.  Over the next 20 minutes I also saw several display flights high up into the sky. Continue reading “Woodcocks galore”

Nesting hawks

One of the great things about living in Connecticut is the wealth of experience in the birding community.  The atlas team is taking advantage of that expertise not only to help us gather data, but also to provide insights to help volunteers become better atlasers.  Here, Connecticut Warbler editor and long-time birder, Greg Hanisek provides tips on finding evidence for breeding hawks in your block: Continue reading “Nesting hawks”