When is a pair of ducks really a pair of ducks?

Yesterday, a quick stop at a small pond in Mansfield turned up 2 gadwalls (a male and a female), 5 green-winged teals (3 males, 2 females), and a dozen mallards. The gadwalls were swimming around together, and one of the female teals was sitting close to one of the males. Given this observation, it would be tempting to report both species with breeding code P (pair) to the atlas project. Continue reading “When is a pair of ducks really a pair of ducks?”

Which eBird checklists should you share?

Spring is just around the corner, but as the recent snow has shown us, it’s not quite here yet. Some birds are starting to breed, but most are not. So, how do you know which birds to report to the atlas project? This question is a particular concern for people who are already entering their sightings into eBird and may be unsure when they should share a checklist with the ctbirdatlas account. Continue reading “Which eBird checklists should you share?”

Nesting ravens

Although it is too soon to begin surveying atlas blocks in earnest, a few species have begun to nest and atlas data have started to flow in.  For example, last weekend I saw a common raven fly across the Merritt Parkway in Orange (block 94F) with a stick in its beak – carrying nest material (atlas code CN).  I was a little surprised about the location, but I checked with local birder Frank Gallo who confirmed that there is pair that nests on a cell tower nearby. Continue reading “Nesting ravens”

Our History

Scientifically-designed bird atlases began in the UK in the 1960s. Dozens of bird atlases have been produced since, at scales ranging from counties, to countries, to continents.

For a list of projects in the US, click here. Most projects have focused on breeding birds, but some have tackled winter or migration patterns. Most simply document where each species occurs, but some also estimate abundance. And, while the focus has largely been on documenting distributions, most have also made some attempt to explain the distributions in relation to habitats, land use, and other factors. Increasingly, atlases are being repeated with a primary goal of determining whether and how bird distributions are changing. Continue reading “Our History”