1 - Blocks

The NY BBA III blocks are based on USGS ‘topo quads’ that have been divided into sixths.

The first Atlas Essential is to respect atlas blocks. When you go out atlasing, make sure that all observations on a single checklist are from within a single block.

The NY BBA III divides New York state into 5,710 ‘atlas blocks’—roughly 3 x 3 mile squares used to map New York’s breeding birds. Atlas blocks are based on 7.5’ USGS Topo Quads that are broken up into 6 smaller blocks. Each block is named with the name of the topo quad followed by the position of the block within the quad.

Sightings from every block count towards our understanding of birds of the state, but priority blocks are where the focus should be.
It's important to keep the observations on each checklist within a single block, so we've provided several options to help you keep track of your location in the field.
Principal Atlasers commit to making sure that priority blocks receive adequate coverage.
Learn how to correctly assign species and checklists to blocks.
Always make sure you have permission to access the area you want to survey!
Learn when a block is complete and it's time to move on.