Date: 3/17/17 6:25 am
From: Ashley Peele <ashpeele...>
Subject: [Va-bird] Singing Birds on St. Patty's Day
Hi Atlas Folks!

Just a quick message on this St. Patty's Day to remind us of the proper use for the S and S7 breeding codes, when reporting your breeding observations to the VA Breeding Bird Atlas project.

Love is in the air for many of our resident bird species. Our woods, fields, and neighborhoods are full of the songs and breeding vocalizations of males establishing their territories and advertising for females. As we enter the second Atlas season, let’s make sure we’re using the S or S7 breeding codes for bird songs and calls that are specifically tied to breeding activity.

S= Singing Male or S7= Singing Male Present >7 days. This code only applies to species that have a song or vocalization directly associated with breeding behavior. Examples include everything from the Carolina Wren’s classic song to a Barred Owl’s ‘Who-cooks-for-you’ call. However, many species of birds make sounds that are not associated with breeding. In some cases, these are actual songs (e.g. nuthatches), but in most cases these are simpler vocalizations or ‘calls’. Detections of such vocalizations should not be labeled with the S or S7 code.

Examples of such species include nuthatches, waxwings, kingfishers, shorebirds, waterfowl, wading birds, vultures, terns and gulls, and corvids. It may not happen right away, but if you log a singing Great Blue Heron, eventually an Atlas reviewer is going to be messaging you.

Lastly, there are still a few spots open for the Charlottesville Training session next Saturday, March 25th. If you are a new volunteer or would just like a refresher, please join us for this fun day of birding and learning! Register at: For more info, check out the Atlas Events page on our website.

Enjoy the St. Patty's day revelry and hopefully a weekend of good birding!

Ashley Peele, PhD

Virginia Breeding Bird Atlas Coordinator |


Conservation Management Institute, Virginia Tech

1900 Kraft Drive, Suite 250

Blacksburg, VA 24061

(540) 231-9182 office

(540) 231-7019 fax


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