Welcome to Virginia Breeding Bird Atlas 2

Birding in the 21st Century.

News and Features

October eBirder of the Month Challenge

This month’s eBirder of the Month challenge, sponsored by Carl Zeiss Sports Optics, will keep get you snapping photos and recording bird sounds. Every time you take a photo or hold out a microphone, you’re creating an incredibly powerful piece of data. Media help document records, provide resources for learning and education, and also pave the way for future eBird and birding tools like Merlin Photo ID. The eBirder of the month will be drawn from eBirders who submit 15 or more eligible checklists in September containing at least one rated photo or sound. Checklists must be for observations during this month; not historical checklists entered during September. Winners will be notified by the 10th of the following month.

The migrants are coming… again!

Atlas Birding in Late Summer… As we slowly roll into the Fall migration season, we need to start using a little more care when applying breeding codes to our observations.  As migrants begin moving back through Virginia, it’s a good idea to consult the Breeding Timeline Charts to see what species have entered the transition zone (when […]

Inspired by Birds and Birders: meet Maeve and Joey

Birds are a class of animals that inspire people.  Those who study birds, write about them, photograph and watch them, find their intelligence, beauty, and adaptability inspiring.  For those involved with the VA Breeding Bird Atlas project, the biological imperative that drives birds to raise, protect, and fledge their young can be astonishing.  The Phoebe […]

Crazy for Cherries: a look into breeding bird use of fruit

(This article was contributed by Dr. Steven Hopp, an adjunct Professor at Emory and Henry University and the region 7 Atlas coordinator) I serve as the VABBA2 regional coordinator for region 7, in the westernmost end of the state. Like many of you, I spend some days out working on atlas activities, and some days […]

The Home Stretch: Guidelines for Completing an Atlas Block

Halfway through the second field season of the VABBA2 project, many volunteers are turning their thoughts toward completing their Atlas blocks.  Unlike many other breeding bird surveys, the Atlas project methods focus on completing a given block then moving on to others.  There is no repeat-survey of the same block once completed, thus allowing volunteers […]

Meet Haley Olsen-Hodges, a wildlife rehabber, birder, and Atlas volunteer

The increasing range and diversity of people who make up the birding community is encouraging to those of us who work with them.  For some, birding is a hobby, an outlet for connecting to the natural world and contributing to conservation efforts.  Many of the Atlas volunteers featured in these articles are exceptional in their […]

Tackling Tricky Codes Pt. 3: The Confirmations

Mid-June has somehow already arrived, which means that confirmed breeding codes are springing up on many checklists.  We’re excited to see volunteers adding new species confirmations to their blocks or documenting uncommon breeding species, e.g. the Dickcissel pair recently found in Bedford county.  Given this surge in breeding data, now is a great time for the […]

Meet Garrett Rhyne, a Jack-of-all-Atlas-trades

One of the overarching goals and hopes of the second Virginia Breeding Bird Atlas is to foster an appreciation for birds in new or young birders.  While the success of this project depends greatly on the participation of experienced, often retired volunteers, the larger goal of promoting a sustainable and long-term bird conservation ethic within […]

Meet the Littles: An Atlas Volunteer Tale

A refrain that many of you will hear from me is that people are the critical factor in wildlife conservation.  People will determine the future of our natural resources and thus the future of birds.  The VA Breeding Bird Atlas project seeks to give people an opportunity to embrace this idea and to do something about it. […]

Breeding Codes and Migratory Species

Migratory birds, particularly those colorful, diverse species that spend winter in the Neotropics and summer in the US, add a new dimension to collecting breeding data for the VA Breeding Bird Atlas.  Breeding codes should be used carefully in the late Spring and early Summer.  For some species, e.g. the Eastern Wood-Pewee or Purple Martin, individuals begin […]