Welcome to Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas II

Birding in the 21st Century.

News and Features

eBird Mobile 1.3: breeding and behavior codes

American Redstart - Breeding Code ON by Nick Anich /Macaulay Library.

A new version of eBird Mobile (1.3) has just been released that lets you note breeding and behavior codes in your mobile checklists—available for free on both iOS and Android. This lets you track breeding bird activity more easily than ever before, and also lets you log flyover codes—which could win you a pair of binoculars this month! If you’ve never tried eBird Mobile, there has never been a better time to get started. More than 110,000 eBirders have used eBird Mobile so far, replacing the field notebook as the easiest and most accurate way to record your bird sightings in the field. Learn how to get started with eBird Mobile. This latest version also provides the technical foundation that will allow us to build in automatic tracking of distance within the app, sharing of checklists, and many other features that we want and plan to build into eBird Mobile. Every step is bringing us closer to having the full eBird website on your mobile device!

First documented Mississippi Kite nest in Wisconsin!

Adult Mississippi Kite (with House Sparrow prey). Photo by Scott Weberpal.

For the first time ever, Mississippi Kites have been found breeding in Wisconsin, with confirmation of a pair raising one chick at a nest near Janesville, Rock County. This represents one of the northernmost breeding records in the species’ range and perhaps the most exciting find of Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas II (WBBA II) so far! Although WBBA II has confirmed nesting in 11 species not recorded as breeders during WBBA I (1995–2000), this is the first instance of a new state breeding record during the project.

Cutright Bird Club a Major Force Behind the Atlas

NJCbird club logo

The Cutright Bird Club has been a major supporter of the second Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas since day one. How could they not be? Their founder, the late Noel J. Cutright, was not only senior editor of the first Atlas, for which survey work was done from 1995 to 2000, but he helped launch organizational work on the second Atlas before his death in late 2013.

Tricky Codes IV: Atlasing season is almost over, but not yet!

SchultzEATO

There is still plenty of activity and atlas codes to be found, especially confirmations. Although it’s not as easy to assume breeding as it has been for the past couple months, atlasers will still be rewarded with confirmations for the next couple weeks. Read on to learn what situations you can still confidently confirm breeding, when it’s likely too late, which codes to use, and some other tips for atlasing during this tricky end of the season period.

Warning: Migrants Ahead!

Did this Cape May Warbler just arrive in your block, or did it breed there? Photo by Nick Anich.

It’s a great time to atlas right now, with lots of young birds about. But are you sure all the birds you’re seeing right now actually nested in your block? Read on for 5 tips on atlasing in August.

Atlaser Spotlight: Anne Geraghty

Anne Geraghty

Who are our incredible volunteers? With more than 1000 Atlasers, it’s no surprise that once you get past the binoculars our volunteers are as varied as the bird species they observe. This series turns the spotlight on a few of the many dedicated men and women who are helping the Atlas achieve such tremendous success as we work our way through our second year.

This month, meet Anne Geraghty of Eau Claire County!

Tricky coding Part III: Distraction Displays vs. Agitation vs. Territoriality

NOGO

We’re now in the middle of the breeding season, with pretty much all of our breeding species either nesting or raising young. It’s easy to see a bird is breeding if it’s on a nest or carrying food but other breeding behaviors are harder to decipher. This usually involves some type of aggressive abnormal behavior, ranging from territoriality or agitation (probable codes) to a distraction display (a confirmed code). The differences between these have caused quite a bit of confusion to atlasers so Part 3 of our Tricky Codes series is devoted to differentiating these codes.

Tricky Coding Part II – Don’t Code Me!!

Terns are an example of a group that should not be given possible or probable codes

Although we’re now in the prime of breeding season, not everything using appropriate habitat should be given codes. Exceptions include gulls, terns, pelicans, cormorants, herons, waterfowl, shorebirds, raptors, and some songbirds. Read on to see the details of situations where you should hold off on giving a code

June eBirder of the Month Challenge — Let’s get a Wisconsin Win!

If you are lucky enough to find a Pileated Woodpecker nest with young, you would select the breeding code NY, the highest level of breeding confirmation. Then go brag to your friends.

The June eBirder of the month challenge is practically tailor-made for Atlasers. In fact, many of you may be well on your way to having completed the challenge, and we’re only a week into June! To qualify, an eBird user must submit at least 20 complete checklists containing at least one breeding code during June. Easy for an Atlaser, right? Let’s see if one of our own can take home this prize!

Atlaser Spotlight: Jack Swelstad

JackSwelstad

Who are our incredible volunteers? With nearly 1000 Atlasers, it’s no surprise that once you get past the binoculars our volunteers are as varied as the bird species they observe. This series turns the spotlight on a few of the many dedicated men and women who are helping the Atlas achieve such tremendous success as we work our way through our second year.

This month, meet Jack Swelstad of Brown County!