Date: 5/5/18 2:06 pm
From: Gregory Hanisek via CTBirds <ctbirds...>
Subject: [CT Birds] field guide to nests
I'll have to disagree with Vanessa's assessment of the nest field guide.
The way to identify nests is to watch the birds using them. For the purpose
of the current CT Atlas, this guide provides a lot of helpful information
about habitat, behavior and other topics in the notes section. As Chis
Elphick has pointed out in blog posts and his talk at the COA Annual
Meeting, finding a nest and getting close enough to look at eggs is not
necessarily a good thing in most cases. The important thing is to know
where to look, behaviors to look for and the actions that confirm nesting
without getting too close - such as carrying food to young and carrying
fecal sacs away from the nest. The Atlas at this season is documenting the
key biological focus of bird life - breeding, a complex, many faceted
process. I would definitely recommend the guide to anyone looking for basic
nesting info. It likely won't help you ID an unused nest you find out in
the field - because that's not what it's designed to do. I may be wrong,
but I don;t think any book does that - comprehensively tell you how to ID
nests out of context The guide will offer insights into your efforts to
provide good Atlas data. I've been birding more than 50 years and have
owned that book for probably more than 30. I never was much involved in
pursuing nesting birds and missed the Atlases in the 2 states I've lived
in, so I didn't use this guide very much. But now that I'm very involved in
the current Atlas I check things out in that book almost daily - and have
learned a lot.

Greg Hanisek
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