Longterm Bird Projects

New York State Breeding Bird Atlas

ATLAS 2000 is a statewide project to determine the distribution of the breeding birds of the state.  In the early 1980's the Federation of New York State Bird Clubs (now the New York State Ornithological Association) worked with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and other groups to map the distribution of breeding birds in a state Atlas.   The results of that huge effort were published as The Atlas of Breeding Birds in New York State (Andrle and Carroll 1988).  The data have proved to be of great value for conservation purposes and environmental reviews.  It is time now, 20 years later, to repeat the project in order to learn how breeding bird distribution has changed.

The state is divided into about 5000 blocks of about 3 miles on a side (25 square kilometers).  Volunteer field workers go into those blocks and record the birds found during the breeding season.   They are not required to find nests; rather they are given certain criteria by which a species can be rated as a possible, probable or confirmed breeder.  The methods used in the first Atlas will be followed so that direct comparisons can be made.

Under the leadership of Renee Davis, the Sullivan County Audubon Society has worked hard on the second Atlas, and many of the blocks have been visited.  Summer 2003 marks the 4th field season, and our intent is to visit every one of the over 100 Sullivan County blocks by the end of this summer.

You can go to the Atlas website to see the progress of the project and to view the results of the first Atlas project.  If you know the breeding birds and their songs and calls, and are interested in working on the Atlas in Sullivan County, we are part of Region 9, coordinated by Michael Bochnik.