• Atlas progress update: Two milestones reached!
  • Special event: Big Atlas Weekend
  • Atlas skills: Finding your way around atlas blocks
  • June challenge: Visit blocks with <20 daytime hrs
  • Species spotlight: Yellow-billed Cuckoo
  • Events: June Town Hall, talks, walks, and Big Atlas Weekend
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June 2021 Update
It's breeding season! If you have bird feeders, you've noticed your suet disappearing faster than normal, and you've surely seen a robin or two with a bill full of worms. This month we focus on navigating blocks and celebrate breeding birds up and down the east coast with the first ever, multi-state Big Atlas Weekend.

e surpassed 2,000 active atlasers and 200,000 checklists last month! For the latest stats, check out the statewide summary on the Atlas website.

The top five species confirmed in May were European Starling (180 new blocks), Canada Goose (142), American Robin (133), Common Grackle (112), and Tree Swallow (77). Plus, 527 atlasers documented breeding for 16 species of grassland birds as part of our monthly challenge, including Upland Sandpiper, Sedge Wren, Clay-colored Sparrow, Grasshopper Sparrow, and Dickcissel!

Tune in tonight (6/8) at 7 pm for the June Town Hall.

Our guest speaker, regional coordinator Brendan Fogarty, will share his experience of getting into atlasing, complete with pretty photos, atlasing tips, and an open Q&A session.
Big Atlas Weekend June 25-27
Celebrate breeding birds during the first-ever Big Atlas Weekend! Join atlasers from Maine, Maryland, DC, and North Carolina for this exciting event.
If this year’s “Big Day” didn’t fit into your busy spring schedule, here’s another chance to make your birding count! The Big Atlas Weekend is an exciting new event for atlasers up and down the east coast to document breeding birds and come together as a birding community. Prizes will be awarded in different categories and there will be an overall state winner. Help New York take home the trophy!

Event Schedule
  • June 23 – Kickoff with guest speaker (pre-register)*
  • June 24 – Training for new atlasers
  • June 25-27 – Big Atlas Weekend!
  • June 30 – Awards ceremony (pre-register)*

All event details are posted on our website. *Pre-registration is required for the kickoff and awards ceremony because atlasers from all four states will be participating.

Atlas Skill: Finding your way around blocks

Atlas blocks take some getting used to, but with eBird tools like the Atlas Effort Map and the mobile app, there are a lot of options to help you find places to visit (like Woodstock!) and keep track of your location in the field.
Blocks. Blocks. Blocks. They can be a nuisance, but blocks are an essential part of any atlas project. We've pulled together all our tips and tricks and tools for helping you keep track of blocks in this article. Inside, you'll find tips on how to prepare for atlasing, how to see block boundaries when you are in the field, and even how to fix your checklists if you make a mistake. Read our tips
June Challenge: Blocks with <20 hrs
One of the joys of atlasing is exploring new places. Take a break from your usual haunts this month and visit an under-surveyed block. Yellow-bellied Flycatcher from Slide Mtn, June 2020 © R Miller/Macaulay Library.

In June, we challenge you to explore blocks with low coverage. Use the tips in this month's article on blocks and head out to a block with <20 daytime survey hours. Discover a new area and help us reach our goal of completing all priority blocks!

Every complete checklist you submit in a block with <20 daytime hours gives you a chance to win this month’s prize—an Atlas t-shirt!

Congratulations to John Roosenberg II of Altamont for winning the April challenge for nocturnal checklists!
Species Spotlight: Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Cuckoos are secretive and unpredictable breeders in NY. Learn the best ways to confirm them in this month's species spotlight article. Photo © Alayna Vreeland/Macaulay Library.
Did you know that cuckoos cough up pellets much like owls? Or that their egg is one of the largest relative to body size of any bird? Or that cuckoo chicks have one of the shortest development periods of any bird? Their silent skulking in dense thickets, combined with a short breeding cycle, makes cuckoos notoriously difficult birds to confirm breeding. This month we spotlight one of the cuckoo species that breeds in NY, the Yellow-billed Cuckoo, although many of the tips also apply to Black-billed. Learn more
Upcoming Events
Breeding season is here and a lot is happening—including the first Big Atlas Weekend! Check out the Atlas Events Calendar for details on how to participate in upcoming Atlas events, from chats and trainings to in-person walks!
  • June 8 - Town Hall with Brendan Fogarty
  • June 17 - Second window for nightjar surveys begins
  • June 19 - Atlas walk in Franklin County with Tom Wheeler
  • June 23 - Big Atlas Weekend kickoff with invited speaker (pre-register)
  • June 24 - Big Atlas Weekend training for new atlasers
  • June 25-27 - Big Atlas Weekend!
  • June 30 - Big Atlas Weekend highlights and awards ceremony (pre-register)
3 Ways to Support the Atlas!
  • 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 $32,400!
  • Donate directly to the atlas. Donations go toward supporting outreach events and data collection all in the name of conservation.
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