• Atlas progress update: Fledgling season!
  • Special event: Big Atlas Weekend results
  • Atlas skill: How to confirm species
  • July challenge: Submit checklists with confirmed codes
  • Species spotlight: Chimney Swifts
  • Events: Loon census, Aug Town Hall, walks
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July 2021 Update
It's fledgling season! July is prime time for confirming breeding. To help you out, we've put together a guide to confirm species. Also included this month is an update on the Big Atlas Weekend and tips for a particularly tricky speciesChimney Swift.

For the latest stats, check out the statewide summary on the Atlas website. The top five species confirmed in June were American Robin (228 new blocks), Red-winged Blackbird (220),  European Starling (206), Common Grackle (188), and Song Sparrow (181). Some of these maps are getting pretty filled in!

There are still a good number of blocks that have no confirmed species. Now is a great time put those CF, FY, and FL codes to use!
Big Atlas Weekend Results
Selection of photos taken over Big Atlas Weekend. Bobolink (CF) © Tim Healy/Macaulay Library, Northern Flicker (ON) © Robert Howard/Macaulay Library, Wood Thrush nest with cowbird egg (NE) © Shawn Billerman/Macaulay Library, and Ruffed Grouse (FL) © David Guertin/Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab.
The Big Atlas Weekend was a great success with over 1000 atlasers participating across four states! It was a great time to be out with lots of babies hatching and needing to be fed. We are so happy to have brought increased awareness to breeding birds and look forward to continuing this annual event next year.

Despite the hot, windy weather here in NY, 435 atlasers participated! Of the 217 species that have been confirmed breeding in the state to date, 206 of them were documented over the weekend, including 12 species of grassland birds and some species seen in NY and nowhere else.

Find out who won the individual challenges, which state took home the championship trophy, who the top atlasers were, and more in the full article.

Annual Loon Census - July 17th

People all across New York are invited to participate in the Annual Loon Census July 17 from 8-9 am. Submit observations from any lake in New York. Learn more

Atlas Skill: How to confirm birds

How do you find Red-eyed Vireo nests? Learn the tricks of the trade in this month's skill-building article. Red-eyed Vireo family © Jay McGowan/Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab (ML351585961)
July through early August is the best time of year to get confirmations and finish off blocks. But one of the most common questions new atlasers have is how do you get more confirmations? This month we focus on some of our top tips:
  1. Check every beak
  2. Keep an ear out for strange sounds
  3. Watch suspicious birds
  4. Understand nesting habitat and habits
  5. Understand seasonal patterns
Learn more about these tips so you can get more confirmations.

Atlasing on the CT border?

Connecticut is in the last year of their Breeding Bird Atlas. If you are atlasing in one of the blocks along the CT border, consider helping out both atlases at once!
See where CT needs the most help
July Challenge: Checklists with Confirmations
Veery carrying food © Jay McGowan/Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab (ML255559561)

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 with a confirmed code gives you a chance to win this month’s prize—an Atlas t-shirt!

Congratulations to Jarvis Shirky of Chester for winning the May challenge for coded grassland birds!
Species Spotlight: Chimney Swift
Chimney Swifts lead secretive lives but it is possible to confirm them breeding. Learn how in this month's species spotlight. Chimney Swift (CN) © Jeanne Cimorelli/Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab (ML350558571).
Swifts are a common sight in summer twittering around the rooftops of any town or city, but they spend so much of their time in flight or hidden way in inaccessible nesting locations that they are notoriously difficult birds to confirm breeding. These qualities also make it a species for which a lot of its biology is still unknown.

But it is still possible to confirm Chimney Swifts. How? As the photo shows, watching adults break off small twigs and carry them into a chimney is one great way. Find out more tips for Chimney Swifts in this month's species spotlight article.

Birds of Conservation Concern 2021

The US Fish & Wildlife Service recently updated their list of priority birds for the first time since 2008. Chimney Swifts, along with other aerial insectivores, grassland birds, shorebirds, and even some forest birds are now listed as priority species.
Read more about the Birds of Conservation Concern 2021
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!
  • Jul 17 - Annual Loon Census (8 am - 9 am)
  • Aug 3 - Julie joins Rich Guthrie on WAMC's VoxPop, listen live at 2pm or listen to it later via your favorite podcast app (2 pm - 3 pm)
  • Aug 4 - Town Hall focused on confirming birds, identifying juveniles, and finishing blocks (7 pm - 8 pm)
  • Aug 15 - Atlas Walk with Wendy Tocci in Saugerties CE (7 am - 12 pm)
Check out our YouTube channel for recordings of past events, including for Big Atlas Weekend.
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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