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New York State Breeding Bird Atlas

Cover: The Second Atlas of Breeding Birds in New York State
Breeding Bird Atlas Book Cover

New Breeding Bird Atlas Published!

Breeding Bird Atlas Logo

The Second Atlas of Breeding Birds in New York State, edited by Kevin J. McGowan and Kimberley Corwin was released in December 2008.

Five years of fieldwork by more than 1,200 contributors provided the data for this latest addition to our understanding of New York's avifauna. This substantial book reveals striking changes in the distributions of many of our breeding birds since New York's first Breeding Bird Atlas was published in 1988. Over half of our 253 species showed a significant change in their distribution, with 70 species showing increases and 58 species showing declines. Two-page species accounts for each of 244 species feature a color map that shows the current distribution of the bird in the state and second map that shows the change in distribution since the first atlas. The book is beautifully illustrated with black-and-white species drawings and 25 color paintings that depict New York's wide diversity of habitats.

Thank you to all of the volunteers who contributed data to the project. Congratulations on your accomplishment.

Books can be ordered from Cornell University Press, from online retailers, or may be found in your local bookstore.

Stay tuned for Atlas III in 2020!

What is the Breeding Bird Atlas?

The Breeding Bird Atlas is a comprehensive, statewide survey designed to reveal the distribution of breeding birds in New York. This second Atlas project in New York was conducted from 2000-2005 and resulted in the new publication and the associated database. The 1988 publication, The Atlas of Breeding Birds in New York State edited by Robert F. Andrle and Janet R. Carroll, resulted from the first Breeding Bird Atlas Project in New York, conducted from 1980-1985. The recently completed project used the same methodology as the first Atlas to document changes that occurred in the ensuing twenty years.

The New York State Ornithological Association and the Department of Environmental Conservation once again sponsored this project in cooperation with New York Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at Cornell University, Cornell University Department of Natural Resources, and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

How was the survey conducted?

The state was divided into ten regions, based upon the "Kingbird" reporting regions for the New York State Ornithological Association. One or two Regional Coordinators were responsible for seeing that all of the blocks in their region were surveyed. Each survey block measures 5 x 5 km (3 x 3 mi); there are 5,332 blocks in the entire state. Atlasers visited various habitats within their assigned block(s) and recorded evidence of breeding for the birds they see, using defined Breeding Codes.

Special thanks:

To the 1,200 volunteers whose hard work has made the Breeding Bird Atlas a success!

Resources:

DEC has a Breeding Bird Altas datasets for Google Maps and Google Earth that shows the location of the Atlas survey blocks in the New York State, a list of birds breeding in each block, and a map of the distribution for each species that breeds in New York.

Breeding Codes - Read the complete description of each breeding code used in data collection.

Handbook for Workers (PDF, 145kb, 40 pages) - Detailed instructions on how to survey an Atlas block.

Breeding Season Table (PDF, 31kb, 10 pages) - Nesting dates, adapted from the first Atlas.

Hints on Haunts (PDF, 27kb, 9 pages) - Additional surveying tips.

Newsletters - See current and past issues of the Atlas Newsletter.

The New York State Breeding Bird Atlas is a cooperative project of the following organizations:

New York State Ornithological Association

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

New York Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at Cornell University

Cornell University Department of Natural Resources

Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Audubon New York

Funding was provided by:

Return a Gift to Wildlife

State Wildlife Grants

New York State Ornithological Association

New York Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit

Hudson River Estuary Program

For more information, contact:

Breeding Bird Atlas Project
NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
625 Broadway
Albany, NY 12233-4754


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