Welcome to Virginia Breeding Bird Atlas 2

Birding in the 21st Century.

News and Features

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 […]

Bringing VABBA2 into the outdoor classroom

The 2017 Atlas season is rolling along and it’s high time to begin our volunteer profile series!  These articles introduce members of our Atlas community who are making significant and unique contributions to the project.  To kick of 2017, meet Dan Bieker!  Dan began his career with the Ohio Division of Wildlife, working on Wood […]

Student Adventures in Atlasing

The Atlas is a great opportunity to engage students, as well as birders, with wildlife conservation and to provide chances for learning more about bird identification and behavior.  To that end, we are encouraging professors and students from around Virginia to consider how they might like to get involved with the VABBA2.  This spring, I had the chance […]

Tackling Tricky Codes Part 2: The Probables…

For our second installment of this series, we’ll be focusing on tricky Probable codes.  Much of atlasing effort is focused on trying to upgrade species to this category or higher.  Fortunately, behaviors suitable for the Probable breeding category are fairly common to observe, but it is important to make sure we’re interpreting the use of […]

First VA Breeding Bird Atlas Data!

Species lists and breeding status data are now available for every block surveyed in the first VA Breeding Bird Atlas via the Atlas Block Explorer tool.  This effort took place from 1984-1989, thus nearly 30 years have passed, since these data were collected.  Many changes have occurred across the landscape of Virginia, which highlights why […]

Tackling Tricky Breeding Codes (Part 1): the Possibles…

Breeding behaviors and the use of breeding codes to describe these behaviors is probably the most unique, interesting, and important aspect of a Breeding Bird Atlas project.  In Virginia, we have a diverse bird community, which makes collecting breeding evidence both fun and challenging.  The Atlas handbook provides detailed descriptions of each breeding code, but […]

Atlasing After Dark: an introduction to nocturnal surveys

Nighttime surveys are often the last step needed to ‘complete’ or finish an Atlas block.  This aspect of atlasing can seem a little challenging, so this article provides guidance for volunteers who are ready to start working on nighttime atlasing or for anyone interested in nocturnal species surveys.  If you take nothing else away, remember that your […]