I'll reiterate Michael's post and also put a plug in for atlasing and
watching bird behaviors. We are gearing up for the third Breeding Bird
Atlas in NY and I hope that many of you will join this important
conservation project. Information and materials are being made available on
the website <https://ebird.org/atlasny/about>as they become available. We
will be using eBird for data entry and you can see an example of how the
data will be made available on the Wisconsin
<https://ebird.org/atlaswi/home> Breeding Bird Atlas portal or also closer
to home in Maine <https://ebird.org/atlasme/about>. At the core of the
atlas is the observation of breeding behaviors. Atlas birding is a great
opportunity to become more familiar with your local birds and will
inevitably deepen your enjoyment of the natural world. Best of all, it's
the perfect antidote to the June and July doldrums!

It does seem that things are a bit "off" this year. I suspect that the
cool, wet spring not only delayed the arrival of spring migrants, but also
led to the failure of many first nesting attempts. But every day I see more
and more birds frantically trying to find enough food to satisfy their
growing chicks. While this time of year may not be full of excitement, you
can get some practice in for the upcoming bird atlas by familiarizing
yourself with breeding behaviors and starting to use breeding codes
<https://ebird.org/atlasny/about/breeding-codes> on your eBird checklists.

Happy birding,
Julie

--

Julie Hart

New York Breeding Bird Atlas III, Project Coordinator

SUNY ESF | New York Natural Heritage Program



NY BBA III Website <https://ebird.org/atlasny/about> | FaceBook
<https://www.facebook.com/nybba3/> | Instagram
<https://www.instagram.com/nybbaiii/>

On Thu, Jun 27, 2019 at 3:09 PM Michael Schrimpf <michael.schri...@gmail.com>
wrote:

> I also get a lot of enjoyment out of observing details about the common
> birds in my local neighborhood (though it helps that I've been moving to a
> new local neighborhood every few years for the last decade or so!)
>
> For everyone who wants another reason to explore "common" birds and
> "normal" places, however, I'll put in a plug for the third NY breeding bird
> atlas, which will get started with data collection next year:
> https://ebird.org/atlasny/about
>
> Since a big part of this project will involve collecting eBird checklists
> with breeding codes all over the state, I suspect that many NY birders will
> have many interesting places to explore during June in the next few years,
> on the hunt for all of those breeding robins, mockingbirds, and sparrows,
> etc. It makes sense to start looking forward to that now!
>
> Wisconsin (where I grew up) is nearing completion of their latest breeding
> bird atlas, which also used a special eBird portal to organize the data
> collection. You can read all about the process on their main website here
> <https://wsobirds.org/atlas>, and on the special eBird portal page, here
> <https://ebird.org/atlaswi/home>, which has the atlas-specific map
> showing all of the survey blocks. I'm not involved with the NY effort in
> any way, so I don't know how much will be different in the approach, but I
> imagine there will be similar resources ready ahead of next year's effort
> in this state.
>
> Anyway,
> Happy "doldrums" birding!
> Michael Schrimpf
> Suffolk County
>
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> On Wed, Jun 26, 2019 at 11:12 AM Shaibal Mitra <shaibal.mi...@csi.cuny.edu>
> wrote:
>
>> Judging from many, many recent conversations with fellow birders, it
>> seems that people are having a tough time of it during these June doldrums.
>> From independent sources over the past week, I've heard: "crushing
>> disappointment;" "why is it so bad?;" "is it going to get better?"
>> "something could show up, right?;" "didn't birding used to be good?;" "this
>> place used to be good, I think" and more. And this has mostly been in the
>> context of ordinary, local birding, not directly related to the more
>> ominous big-picture concerns expressed by Chris recently.
>>
>> My usual response, admittedly slightly sadistic, is that birding
>> excitement has always been relative. We modern observers can't begin to
>> imagine how bad it was before the legal protection of birds was implemented
>> a century ago, and yet the observers of that time still found birdwatching
>> exciting--and were motivated enough to achieve protective legislation in
>> the face of forces as ruthless and malevolent as those confronting us now.
>> Imagine the excitement experienced by Harry Hathaway, the father of Rhode
>> Island ornithology, when in 1894 he saw his first Great Blue Heron, after
>> ten years of field work! It was Hathaway's ongoing work that eventually
>> revealed that a unique, seemingly outlying, 19th Century winter record of
>> White-throated Sparrow in RI was not an accident. He documented two more
>> winter records and lived long enough to see RI's plundered and deforested
>> landscape recover sufficiently to harbor the lisping flocks of
>> White-throats we now take for granted on the CBCs.
>>
>> On Long Island, Ludlow Griscom scolded over-exuberant birders who tossed
>> off sight records of Ring-billed Gulls in winter and summer, citing a
>> countable number of such specimens as the gold standard of documentation
>> for that species in that context. Chafing at this discipline, Cruickshank
>> and Peterson figured out how to find and identify Ring-billed Gulls better
>> then their predecessors--proving again the eternal pleasure of purposeful
>> birdwatching.
>>
>> Yesterday I saw my first adult Ring-billed Gulls of the season at Robert
>> Moses SP, Suffolk County. I'm not sure of the date for my last spring
>> adult, but I did manage to record that none were present by 17 April:
>>
>> https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S55097294
>>
>> And I am able to pull up the date of the late-June return of adults in at
>> least one other year:
>>
>> https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S17210602
>>
>> [note to eBird: please enable sorting of checklists by Julian date!]
>>
>> A little sleuthing subsequently revealed that two of my colleagues beat
>> me to it this year, documenting an adult Ring-bill at Cupsogue two days
>> before my exciting find (though it required some follow-up work to obtain
>> their photos and a definitive age):
>>
>> https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S57623401
>>
>> Hypothesis: Ring-billed Gulls whose breeding efforts fail after early
>> June abandon the colonies and disperse, some reaching the coast.
>>
>> Shai Mitra
>> Bay Shore
>> --
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>>
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>> http://ebird.org/content/ebird/
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>>
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