Date: 5/30/18 8:57 pm From: <adamus7...> Subject: [obol] bird atlas still available, new download, future?
If you're among the folks who didn't live in Oregon in the 1990s or were not tuned into the birding world then -- or maybe weren't even born-over 800 Oregon birders during the period 1995-1999 volunteered to survey birds in a network of 844 contiguous spatial units that covered the entire state: the Oregon Breeding Bird Atlas Project. Survey efforts were not limited to "priority" units and observations were not confined to small statistically-selected blocks. Data from that project provided the first geographically comprehensive baseline against which current and future changes in species distributions in our state can be assessed.
Unlike Breeding Bird Atlas projects in most other states, the resulting range maps were not published as a stand-along coffee-table book, but were donated to the classic "Birds of Oregon" by Marshall, Hunter, & Contreras. The range maps as well as statistical analyses and summaries also were made available as a highly interactive CD created by Kit Larsen, and sold for $25 by the Oregon Birding Association (then called Oregon Field Ornithologists) with proceeds going to support their Fund for Ornithology. That CD can still be purchased via the OBA web site or by contacting me, and it still works, at least with the free Mozilla Firefox browser. However, as the former Project Coordinator and co-author, I have recently wanted to make the database and text (history, methods, statistical analyses) -- but not all the interactive maps -- more widely available, and so have posted them now as a PDF and Excel files at the following address where they may be downloaded at no cost:
If you are a "county lister" and contributed to the atlas project then, I also have posted a file that cross-walks those BBA units (and observations attributed to you) to county boundaries.
It's also worth noting that, of the dozens of states and provinces that completed Breeding Bird Atlas projects in the 1980s and 90s, nearly all have repeated the effort approximately 20 years later or are doing so now. I'm sometimes asked: What about Oregon? Our time is due, but the Oregon 2020 Project - a somewhat different approach - is currently drawing volunteer effort, and that's fine. But I and several colleagues would like to see the Oregon BBA repeated (re-started) during the 5 years after the Oregon 2020 Project is completed in (obviously) 2020. For that to happen, some highly motivated birder(s) with strong database and organizing skills -- and willing to devote considerable time over 5 years -- will need to step forward during the next year to volunteer their leadership, as needed to plan that effort and to raise a not-large sum of money for printing and mailing of project materials and creating phone apps. Preferably the effort would be again sponsored by OBA, in collaboration with and potential support from local Audubon Societies, universities, and state and federal agencies. I am not interested in coordinating such a project again, but would like to see a discussion of it begin now, either on OBOL or offline with me.