[CT Birds] Some Comments On Connecticut Bird Atlas Safe dates, Part II

Stephen Broker stephenpaulbroker at gmail.com
Wed Apr 4 17:54:22 EDT 2018

All Connecticut Bird Atlas volunteer field observers should be referring to the CTbirdatlas website <http://www.ctbirdatlas.org <http://www.ctbirdatlas.org/>>
 for Blog entries and for Breeding Survey techniques.  Keep in mind that the CT Bird Atlas field work consists of three different phases over a three year period:  (1) Breeding Bird Atlas; (2) Winter Bird Atlas; (3) Migration Period Atlas.  We now are in the first year of field observations for breeding birds.  I’ll have some further comments about “safe dates” for breeding birds, but for now the most important issue is to be familiar with the posted information called “Surveys - Safe Dates and Habitats”.  Here is the language taken directly from the website set up by the CT Bird Atlas leadership (UCONN and Connecticut DEEP):

The table below provides “safe dates” and the most frequently used breeding habitats for each species. Safe dates give the period when most migrants will have left, and those birds that remain are likely nesters. Breeding codes, especially those in the Possible and Probable categories, generally should not be used outside the safe dates for a given species. Confirmed breeding codes, are less likely to cause errors, but even confirmed breeding should be well documented (e.g., a detailed description of the bird species and the behaviors that confirm breeding) if it happens outside the safe dates for a species because these records are likely to be of particular interest. 

If you find a species and you feel that there is strong evidence of nesting, even though you are outside the safe dates or in an inappropriate habitat, please provide additional documentation. Species marked with an asterisk (*), below, or any species not on this list, always require additional written documentation because they are rare breeders in the state that we want to fully document for the historical record. Information on reporting rare sightings is provided here <http://www.ctbirdatlas.org/Surveys-Rare-observations.htm>. 

[The list of Safe Dates can be downloaded from the website.]
Steve Broker

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