[CT Birds] Connecticut Bird Atlas web site is live

Chris Elphick elphick at sbcglobal.net
Fri Mar 2 16:47:40 EST 2018

Hi everyone, As many of you know data collection for the Connecticut BirdAtlas begins this year.  The full web site went live today, so we have alot of new information available. I don’t want to take up too much bandwidthhere, but I thought I should point out a few key things.  The web sitelink is: www.ctbirdatlas.org  1. If you want to sign up to survey a block, there is an interactivemap on the web site where you can do this.  Instructions are on the website.  Note, that if any of the links to create emails, or if theinteractive parts of the map do not work, it is probably because your browseris set to block pop-ups, which you should be able to change by going into yourbrowser security settings (another possible issue is that you have no email address associated with your browser).  2. If the block you’d hoped to work in has already beenassigned to someone else, that does not mean you cannot collect data in thatblock.  **Anyone can collect data in any block.**  For us to get themost out of the project, though, we need to spread effort around across theentire state.  So, taking on an unassigned block is the best way to ensurethat your data will expand the quality of the overall project. The reason weare trying to designate a key person for each block is not to give them somesort of “ownership” over the block, but rather to make a specific personresponsible for ensuring that that block gets covered – either by them, or bysome combination of people that will collectively put in the needed hours. 3. Although the web site has a lot of information, noteverything is there yet. The main gap for the breeding survey is the Field Cardfor data submission and details on how to fill it out.  That form is notsomething anyone should need for at least another month, though, and it will becoming very soon. 4. Although it is a little early to begin block surveys, afew species are breeding already.  If you have records of breedingactivity, especially confirmed breeding (e.g., hawks carrying sticks to buildnests, nesting or fledgling owls), then fill out an Incidental Observationsform and submit the data right away. The web site has information on how to dothis both via a paper form, which you can print and fill out, or viaeBird.   5.  Note that any time you submit atlas data via eBirdyou should (a) include an atlas breeding code for every breeding species in theeBird checklist and (b) share the checklist with the atlas eBird account (name= ctbirdatlas).   There are instructions on how to do both of thesethings on the web site. 6. Although there has been a stunning response from the CTbirding community with over 500 people already signed up to our atlasmailing list, we are still looking for more people to volunteer.  You cando this on the web site.  If you have heard one of our talks and thoughtthat you have signed up, but have not been getting emails from Craig Repasz,our volunteer coordinator, then please sign up again through the website.  (A few email addresses on our sign-up sheets from the talks werehard to read, and we know there are some people out there who are not gettingmessages that we’re sending them.)  7. Information about winter and stopover data collection isnot yet on the web site.  We are still finalizing those protocols and willpost the information latter in the summer after the breeding work is underway.  Field work, though, will be somewhat similar to that for a ChristmasBird Count. 8. Similarly, there are a few other things that we plan toput on the web site, and may even have told some of you that we’ll include,that are not there yet.  We (probably) haven’t forgotten, but have beentrying to prioritize and make sure that the most critical information is taken careof first.  Over the next few weeks, we will be tying up the various looseends.
 9.  Over the long term, we expect this web site tobecome a general repository for all sorts of information about the status of Connecticut’s birds, with a separate page for every species that has occurred in thestate.  We’re a ways off from making that happen, but you should expect tostart seeing additions fairly soon, starting with all of the distribution mapsfrom the first CT breeding atlas conducted in the 1980s, which should be availablewithin a few weeks. 10. Lastly, at the COA annual meeting I will be giving atalk about the atlas.  This will not simply be a repeat of the talks we’vebeen giving around the state over the past couple of months.  I will touchon all the main points for anyone who has not seen one of those talks, but Iwill also talk in more detail about information that is on the web site and howyou can use it, how to collect data that will be maximally helpful to theproject, what will be coming to the web site in the future, etc. etc. etc. We will also have a table at the meeting where people can get helpsigning up for blocks and/or ask questions about anything to do with the atlas. Apologies for the length of the message. And many thanks to everyone who has already volunteered to help us collect the data needed to improve our understanding of the state's bird populations.
 Chris(on behalf of the entire Atlas team)
 Chris Elphick @sstsEcology & Evolutionary BiologyUniversity of Connecticuthttp://elphick.lab.uconn.edu/http://www.tidalmarshbirds.org/http://ctbirdatlas.org/

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