Bird Atlas Tips April 2011
Loudoun County Atlasers,
As we enter our third breeding season, we’ll be completing several blocks and beginning to cover new ones. In both cases, it’s helpful to have access to private property, which can provide excellent habitat for target species. Attached is a short list of landowners, broken down by block, that have granted permission for the atlas.
At your earliest convenience please send me the following information:
- Name and address (or block name) of other landowners that have granted permission for the atlas
- Addresses of private property you would like permission to atlas in an ideal situation
- Any typos or errors on the attached spreadsheet
I’ll use this information to determine which Loudoun landowners to reach out to over the upcoming months. All landowners will be recognized and thanked in the final publication of atlas results.
1.An atlaser was treated to a Common Redpoll on his property in the Bluemont 4 area…a rare visitor for Loudoun!
2. Barn Owl and Woodcocks heard in the Round Hill 4 block. Displaying Woodcocks also observed in the Middleburg area.
3. Rusty blackbirds observed at Algonkian Park and the Arcola 2 block
1. All paper field cards and Special Survey forms from the previous atlas year should be mailed to me by April 30th. We need this information to validate particular records or obtain missing data. Thanks to those who have already submitted their cards.
2. Consider using the O code in the Observed category when observing a species within safe dates (don’t automatically report the X code). Examples of when to use the O code include soaring vultures, immature raptors, colonial nesters not at the nesting colony, and any fly-over birds not using habitat within the block such as foraging swallows and swifts.
3. The documents on the atlas website have recently been updated. Please note the new line on the field card to record your Document ID number. I also updated the Special Areas and Regional Coordinator contact information and plan to release a second edition of the Atlas Handbook this fall.
Tips (the Species of the Month section will return after the breeding season)
1. Use the A (Agitated behavior) code in the Probable breeder category for individuals responding to threats from different species. Use the T (Territorial) code in the Probable category for aggressive interactions between individuals of the same species.
2. When you hear a bird singing, try re-visiting the same spot a week later because that’s one of the easiest ways to document a probable breeder (T code).
3. Look for breeding evidence for Yellow-throated Warblers, a species suspected to breed in Loudoun (they’re known to breed in neighboring counties). The Yellow-throated Warbler is an early breeder that quiets down toward the end of May. They breed in pine forests, sycamore swamps, and riparian woodland.
64 enthusiastic atlasers have spent 2,475 hours in the field documenting 26,750 sightings. You have recorded 228 species, with 97 of these species having a confirmed nesting status. Field cards have been reported for 43 blocks and 3 blocks are considered “complete”.
Loudoun County Bird Atlas Coordinator