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IN THIS ISSUE:
  • Atlas progress update: 5 new species confirmed
  • Atlas skill: Getting confirmations
  • Call to action: Finish blocks!
  • July challenge: Get confirmed codes!
  • Big Atlas Weekend: 2022 Recap
  • Upcoming Events: Town Halls
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July 2022

Baby bird season is here! Things are really hopping this time of year with lots of fledglings begging and adults endlessly searching for and delivering food. Now is the best time to rack up the confirmations! Particularly useful codes are carrying food (CF), feeding young (FY), and recently fledged young (FL). 

In case you haven’t heard, June was a very exciting month for the Atlas. We had five new species confirmed in the state, and a couple of other rare breeders made an appearance. Newly confirmed species are:

  • King Rail
  • Common Eider
  • Chuck-will’s-widow
  • Mississippi Kite
  • Philadelphia Vireo

On top of that, there were a few Yellow-breasted Chat and Loggerhead Shrike reports. It’s been a great month for the Atlas! 

Up this month we call on you to go out and confirm birds and finish blocks. This is the best time to get most species breeding. Later in the month you’ll start finding more second (or third!) broods and more and more Cedar Waxwing and American Goldfinches. 

Atlas Skill - Getting Confirmations
Black-billed Cuckoo carrying food © Sandy Podulka/Macaulay Library (ML355354061)

Atlasing requires a slightly different approach to birding than you may be used to. It’s less about finding as many species as possible in a day and more about slowing down to observe what each bird is actually doing. You may go long periods without seeing any behaviors, or waste 20 minutes following a foraging warbler only to never see any breeding behaviors, but you will eventually be rewarded. It's important to be patient, take pleasure in each observation you make, and have fun!

The intimate moments peering into the daily lives of birds is what hooks people on atlasing. If you haven’t gotten hooked on atlasing yet, or even if you have, here are seven tips you may find helpful to witness more breeding behaviors, including how to recognize suspicious bird behavior, why it helps to camouflage yourself, how to follow females and funky sounds, and learn what synchrony has to do with atlasing

Read about Julie's top tips or listen to Julie discuss her tips in the June Town Hall recording.

Call to Action - Finish Blocks

Fledgling season is a great time to help finish blocks!

This time of year is busy, not just with vacations and family reunions, but also with lots of baby birds to feed. No matter where you are in the state, there are priority blocks that need just a little more effort to mark them complete.

Use the effort map to find priority blocks near you that are close to being finished. In the top left of the map, use the drop-down menu to select “coded species” to switch the map values. Any of the blocks that are in the dark orange to red range have a lot of species recorded, but because they aren’t black (indicating they haven’t been marked complete), they most likely need either a few more confirmed species or additional nocturnal time. Learn more about strategic atlasing.

Use this guide to determine if a priority block is complete. If it isn’t complete in one of the areas described, see if you can bring it up over the threshold. 

Do you think a priority block is complete? Email the Atlas Team so we can evaluate it.

July Challenge - Confirmed Codes
Northern Mockingbird fledgling © Alan Wells/Macaulay Library (ML463299521)

In July, we challenge you to get out in prime baby bird season and confirm species. July is a great time to use the CF (carrying food), FY (feeding young), and FL (recently fledged young) codes.

Every complete checklist you submit in a priority block with a confirmed code gives you a chance to win this month’s prize—an Atlas t-shirt!

Each month from March through August we will highlight a timely aspect of the Atlas that moves us closer to our goal, while giving you the chance to win some cool prizes and be featured on our website! Winners are randomly selected from all eligible checklists.

Big Atlas Weekend '22 Recap
Atlasers got together across the state for Big Atlas Weekend!

We had another great Big Atlas Weekend this year! We joined 1200+ atlasers across 6 projects and 2 countries to celebrate breeding birds June 24-26. In NY alone, 360 atlasers made 2353 confirmations while putting in 1079 hours and visiting 553 blocks—more than any other project! 

Atlasers got together in person across the state in the western, central, and Adirondack regions, and we were able to meet atlasers from other projects at the Awards Ceremony. The break out sessions at the Awards Ceremony are always a hit because we get to connect with atlasers from different regions. Did you know Indigo Buntings are relatively rare in northern Maine or that Warbling Vireos are rare across North Carolina? It’s great to be able to compare across regions and atlas projects and expand our knowledge. 

The winners of the Atlas challenges were: 

  • Atlas Checklists—James Kimball
  • New-to-user Blocks—Suan Yong
  • Low Effort Blocks—Joel Strong
  • New Priority Species—Patricia Martin
  • New Coded Species—Doug Kibbe
  • Nocturnal Checklists—Barb Thomascall
  • Most Valuable Atlaser—Jay McGowan

And in case you missed out, the kickoff with Robyn Bailey from project NestWatch, Charlie Scheim’s (in the yellow shirt above) training for new atlasers, and the Awards Ceremony are available to view on our YouTube channel

Read more about the event

Join us again next year June 23-25, 2023!
Upcoming Events

Atlasing season has started! Check out the Atlas Events Calendar for details on how to participate in upcoming Atlas events, from chats to trainings to in-person walks!

  • July 21: Atlas Town Hall (7 pm) - Topic: multiple brooders
  • Aug 18: Atlas Town Hall (7 pm)
  • September: the month to submit your data, unhide checklists, add documentation
Get your swag on!
  • Visit our online store to purchase atlas-themed items. A percentage of the proceeds go to the Atlas. Look official while supporting the atlas!
  • Sponsor a Species of your choosing and have your name featured in the final Atlas product! Together we've raised $39,400!
  • Donate directly to the atlas. Donations go toward supporting outreach events and data collection all in the name of conservation.
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