New York State
Ornithological Association

For the birders and birds of the Empire State 

Breeding Bird Atlas

Updated 10/31/08    

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Atlas Exhibit at New York State Museum  NEW 10/06/08

We are delighted to announce that a special exhibition on our Breeding Bird Atlas opened on October 3 in the New York State Museum in Albany. The exhibit is called Mapping the Birds of New York—The Second Atlas of Breeding Birds in New York State.

Kevin McGowan and Kimberley Corwin (the editors of the soon-to-be published book) provided information, maps, artwork and guidance to the museum staff as they designed the exhibit. It features original artwork from 15 artists, and professionally prepared display panels describing the Atlas project and showing a sampling of the results. The description appearing on the Museum website follows:

"Of the more than 450 bird species that have been seen in New York, about 245 nest here. The New York State Breeding Bird Atlas projects have mapped where each of those species breeds in the state. The Blue Jay, for example, nests all across New York, but the Gray Jay breeds only in the Adirondacks. The second Breeding Bird Atlas project has just been completed, and the new distribution maps reveal how our breeding birds have fared in the 20 years since the first Atlas was printed. Is the distribution of the Purple Martin shrinking? Is the distribution of the Carolina Wren expanding? Learn the answers in this exhibition, which highlights the forthcoming publication, The Second Atlas of Breeding Birds in New York State. The exhibition includes original artwork from the book, bird mounts, and stories of how the Atlas fieldwork was accomplished."

Museum hours are 9:30 am to 5 pm daily, and the exhibition will be shown through May 1. Entrance to the museum and the exhibits is free.

In other news, Cornell University Press featured the upcoming publication of the Atlas book on the cover of their Fall catalog. The book will be available for purchase in December. Later this month a special mailing from CUP offering a pre-publication discount will be sent to all who volunteered for the Atlas project.

                 Learn more about the new book!





Field Work for the Atlas Project is Complete!
Thank You!

In the early 1980s, New York was one of the first states to undertake a Breeding Bird Atlas project, mapping the distribution of the more than 250 species of birds that breed in the state. Twenty years later, New York began work on a new Atlas to determine how breeding distributions have changed over the past twenty years.

Between 2000 and 2005, over 1,200 people participated in the atlas project. We attained our goal of 100% coverage of more than 5,300 survey blocks in the state. Volunteers visited each of the habitats represented in their assigned blocks and recorded the behavior of the birds that they saw there, reporting each species as a Possible, Probable, or Confirmed breeder.

The database with over 500,000 records was finalized in August 2005 and work on the publication has been underway since January 2005. Species accounts are complete and will include a discussion of changes between the two atlas periods. More than 15 artists are illustrating the book. Co-editors Kevin McGowan and Kimberley Corwin are working with Cornell University Press and the final publication will be available in 2008.

See the DEC website for data, distribution maps, and more details on this project.

The New York State Ornithological Association worked with the following organizations on this project:

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

Audubon New York

Cornell's Department of Natural Resources
The NY Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at Cornell University
The Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology

, Chair, Atlas 2000 Steering Committee

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Handy Atlas Links

The NYSDEC Atlas 2000 website
Atlas 2000 Block Maps

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