ATTENTION BIRDERS: If you observe breeding behavior in Wisconsin between now and 2019, you should be entering your checklists at the new Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas II eBird Portal!
Breeding behavior can consist of things like a singing male in suitable habitat outside of migration or winter, a male-female pair of birds associating with each other during the breeding season, and birds carrying nest material, sitting on a nest, or feeding young. See here for a complete list of the atlas breeding codes.
Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas II is a statewide effort, running from 2015–2019, and it will replicate the methods of the first Wisconsin atlas, conducted from 1995–2000. Volunteers cover the state in attempt to detect and map all the species that breed in Wisconsin. The last atlas mobilized over 1,600 observers and collected over 170,000 records of breeding birds in the state. Results will be extremely useful for informing conservation, and it will be interesting to see how our bird populations have shifted in the last 20 years, and which species have increased or declined. Read more about the atlas at the main atlas website here, and sign up to get the latest updates on the project here.
The new atlas portal should be used for any checklists where you observed a behavior that warrants a breeding code for one or more species. Use the traditional Wisconsin eBird portal for any checklists where no Possible, Probable, or Confirmed codes were observed.
Whether you use the Atlas eBird portal, the traditional Wisconsin eBird portal, or the main eBird website, your username and password remain the same, and your species will be added to your eBird account and appear in the totals on the My eBird tab. Currently, we have it set so that if you are using My eBird on the atlas portal, the count of checklists only refers to atlas checklists, and if you go to Manage my Checklists, it only shows atlas checklists. If you visit the Wisconsin eBird portal or main eBird website, My eBird should show all checklists, both atlas and non-atlas.
If you have any questions about which portal to use, how to enter data, or the atlas project in general, you can find details in the handbook and materials on the atlas website. Another important resource is the Online Discussion Forum where you can ask questions and read threads on questions others have asked. Also, every county has a County Coordinator in charge of helping direct atlas surveys within a county and answer questions that users have.
Join us in what will likely be the largest citizen science project ever in Wisconsin!