Welcome to Virginia Breeding Bird Atlas 2

Birding in the 21st Century.

News and Features

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 […]

American Woodcock, The Forest Species Few Have Seen

For many, the American Woodcock (Scolopax minor) remains a somewhat mysterious species and for good reason.  A forest-dwelling bird species doesn’t seem remarkable until we consider that the woodcock is in the shorebird family, Scolopacidae.  Suddenly, this species takes on a much more intriguing aspect.  Adding to it’s mystique, the American Woodcock is highly cryptic, displaying beautiful […]

Holiday birding can include breeding birds!

The season for Christmas Bird Counts has arrived! As we head into the end of 2016, birders thoughts may turn more and more toward the start of the 2017 breeding season.  These is not premature, because several of Virginia’s resident raptor species, or birds of prey, begin breeding far earlier than springtime.  In this article, we’ll focus on the Bald Eagle, […]

VABBA2 Season One: A Win for Virginia’s Birds and Citizen Science.

Temperatures continue to drop, as Autumn arrives and we wrap-up the first season of the second Virginia Breeding Bird Atlas (VABBA2).  Two things stand out about this summer’s field season. First, Virginia is an incredible place to survey birds.  Between the mountains and valleys, the rolling Piedmont, and the rich Coastal Plain, Atlas volunteers identified […]

Priority Species Database has arrived!

It has happened, Atlas Birders, the Priority Species database has arrived!  A quick reminder: the VABBA2 is first and foremost a conservation tool for assessing bird populations in Virginia.  To that end, an important goal of the Atlas project is to collect additional information on a subset of ‘Priority’ species.  Some of these are prioritized […]

Atlas Volunteer Story – Meet James Fox

Meet James Fox, a stellar Atlas volunteer whose story needed sharing amongst the larger birding community.  He is an awesome contributor for several reasons, but primarily because he not only dove in to the Atlas project this spring, but also launched a Virginia Big Year in January!  Despite his big year goals, James has taken the time […]