Project Description

The Maryland & DC Breeding Bird Atlas 3 will refine our knowledge of the current distribution, relative abundance, and the timing of breeding for all birds breeding in Maryland and the District of Columbia. Atlas data will support comparison with previous atlas projects (1983–1987; 2002–2006) and will be available in digital and book formats for such uses as conservation planning, land management, and academic research.

To accomplish this, the Atlas will focus on these fundamental objectives:

      • Provide results that can be compared to previous Maryland and DC atlases.
      • Provide uniform observer coverage across Maryland and DC.
      • Document all bird species breeding in Maryland and DC.
      • Estimate relative abundance of each bird species breeding in Maryland and DC.
      • Estimate distribution of each bird species breeding in Maryland and DC.
      • Provide data suitable for the conservation of local priority bird species and their habitats.
      • Provide data that are accessible to decision makers.

To accomplish these fundamental objectives, the Atlas will:

      • Use intuitive, user-friendly, and replicable methods that can be compared to previous atlases.
      • Use a block-grid overlay to provide uniform observer effort across the entire region, including per-block coverage targets.
      • Classify breeding evidence for each species in each block using standardized codes based on observed bird behavior.
      • Determine relative abundance of breeding birds across the region using standardized methods such as miniroutes.
      • Gather additional data on priority species, including but not limited to precise location, reproductive phenology, habitat, and relative abundance.
      • Obtain abundance and breeding status data useful for public and other conservation lands management.
      • Map breeding status across the region for each species.
      • Provide data that are accessible to decision makers through publication online, in a major database, and/or in a book format.

The Atlas will also:

      • Encourage collaborations with relevant organizations, government departments, and community groups.
      • Raise awareness of birds in Maryland and DC and efforts to conserve them.
      • Introduce community members from across the region to a new form of volunteer data collection.