Father’s Day is near, and the graduation and wedding season is here. If you’ve got a bird lover on your gift list, consider giving the unique gift of species sponsorship!
There are 40+ Wisconsin breeding species yet to be claimed through the Sponsor-a-Species program, a major source of support for the Atlas. Popular species like Northern Saw-whet Owl and Ruby-crowned Kinglet remain, and every dollar of every sponsorship helps support this important citizen science project.
Who are our incredible Atlas volunteers? It turns out that once you get past the binoculars, our team is as varied as the bird species they observe. This series turns the spotlight on a few of the many dedicated men and women who have helped the Atlas achieve such tremendous success to date.
This month, meet Dan Belter of Marathon County!
This month’s eBirder of the Month challenge, sponsored by Carl Zeiss Sports Optics, gives you a chance to improve our knowledge of breeding birds across the world. In much of the world, June is a critical time in the annual cycle of many birds, as they build nests, hatch chicks, and hopefully fledge young—perpetuating the existence of their species. Even if June isn’t peak breeding season near you, there are still many signs of breeding to be found wherever you are! The eBirder of the month will be drawn from eBirders who submit at least 15 eligible checklists containing at least one breeding code during June. eBird Mobile now lets you enter breeding codes on your mobile checklists, so taking part is easier than ever. Winners will be notified by the 10th of the following month.
Right now terns are moving into the state and will soon be nesting in colonies at waterbodies across Wisconsin. Read more to learn which species are in your area, and how to find them!
Who are the incredible volunteers who make the Atlas “go”? It turns out that once you get past the binoculars—or in this case, the camera—our Atlasers 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 have helped the Atlas achieve such tremendous success to date.
This month, meet Lorri Howski of Milwaukee County!
Certain waterbird species typically breed in colonies. Preferred spots to find colonial nesters are sites that are protected from predation like an island, a lakeshore, a beaverpond, or even in the cases of some gulls, the roof of a building. Because breeding only occurs in colonial situations, seeing these species in your block is not necessarily indicative of local breeding because they range widely, and therefore codes like H and P are generally not useful for these species. Similarly, FL and FY codes away from nest sites are not reliable because these species disperse widely once fledged.
Check out the tips in this article and then check the blocks around you for some colonial waterbirds!
The time has come when you can submit everything you need in at Atlas checklist from just the eBird mobile app! Learn exactly how and remember that there are still circumstances when it will help to use the computer.
Take the Woodcock Challenge! Everybody’s doing it.
Ready to hear some owls?
Atlasers throughout Wisconsin will be donning their headlamps and heading out for some night birding during Nocturnal Atlasing Week, April 21–29. This time window coincides with an early peak in owl calling, and is a good time to try to hear Barred Owls, Great Horned Owls, Eastern Screech-Owls, and Northern Saw-whet Owls, plus other crepuscular birds like American Woodcock.
Wiscland 2 is a new land-cover dataset, created as part of a multiagency effort and hosted by Wisconsin DNR. They used satellite imagery to produce a map that shows different types of land cover types. When Wiscland recently became available, we added it to our atlas interactive map. If you haven’t seen the interactive map, it’s a resource you can use on your computer or your smartphone to quickly see where atlas block boundaries fall, and you can also pull up other informative layers to help you explore your block. Here we’ll walk you through what you need to know to use these layers on the interactive map.