How to Get Started Atlasing

Handbooks and Protocols

Atlas handbooks and protocols contain information to help you successfully contribute to the Pennsylvania Bird Atlas. The Volunteer Handbook is the primary user guide highlighting objectives, guidelines, breeding codes, how to submit data, and other information.

Breeding Timeline

The Breeding Guidelines Chart is a tool to help you determine when it is appropriate to use breeding codes for species in Pennsylvania. Additional instructions for using this chart are provided in the handbook.

This handy page quickly shows which species are eligible to report breeding codes for, for today’s date or any other date you select. (Thank you to Bobby Brown, Lycoming County Atlas Coordinator, for creating this tool and generously sharing it!)

Field Forms

You may choose to take written records of your observations in the field and later enter on a computer at We provide Field Forms to print and use for data recording in the field, or to use as a reference if you prefer to record your observations in a field journal.