Date: 4/27/18 5:36 pm
From: Doug Hitchcox <dhitchcox...>
Subject: [Maine-birds] Maine Bird Atlas - Weekend Challenges, 4/27
Hi everyone:

Heading into the last weekend of April I wanted to pose a couple Maine Bird Atlas challenges to all you birders:

1) Find American Woodcocks displaying.
This is a great time to go out listening for American Woodcocks. Visiting a wet field or meadow near you shortly after sunset should give you decent odds of hearing a calling woodcock. As a reminder, only hearing the “peent” call should be coded as “S-Singing Bird” but some extra effort to observe the flight display will let you bump that report to probable using the “C-Courship, Display, Copulation” code. This species will be a tougher one to confirm breeding but we should be able to do a good job filling in blocks with probable records. The maps looking okay along the coast right now but surely someone can find them in a couple York County blocks this weekend:

2) Report occupied Bald Eagle nests.
The breeding map for Bald Eagles is filling in nicely but there are quite a few blocks with active nests missing. Take a look at the map ( and see if there are any nests near you that you could check over the weekend.

3) Check on nest boxes.
Eastern Bluebirds have already been nest building in a few blocks, and Tree Swallows shouldn’t be too far behind. I also saw a report of an active Wood Duck box this past week so watch for them coming and going to boxes. Don’t forget that all species count, even House Sparrows taking over boxes should be reported.

I picked up a couple new confirmed breeders today:
The Herring Gulls in Portland have been pairing up over the past couple weeks and I observed a pair copulating on my apartment building’s roof on Tuesday. But the real excitement came this morning when the pair was gathering nesting material from the side of the street:
And during Maine Audubon’s Chapter Congress at Bates I took a quick walk over to “Lake Andrews” where Common Grackles were also gathering nesting material:
Both of these birds are ahead of their safe dates but remember that probable and confirmed breeding code supersede safe dates.

And it is good to double-check that your checklists with breeding codes get entered into the Maine Bird Atlas portal. I wrote up some quick instructions on how to change any of your eBird checklists with breeding codes into the atlas portal here:

Good birding and happy atlasing!

Doug Hitchcox
Maine Bird Atlas - Outreach Coordinator
Maine Audubon - Staff Naturalist
207-781-2330 x237
<dhitchcox...> <mailto:<dhitchcox...>

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