Date: 3/17/23 5:11 am From: Lynn Erla Beegle (via carolinabirds Mailing List) <carolinabirds...> Subject: Oops! And encouragement for the NC BIrd Atlas
Good morning! Yesterday I committed a faux pas and hit Reply ALL by mistake (an evil little email option, don't use it) and inadvertently sent a personal message to carolina birds listserv.(I will pause while you check the listserv archive to see what I wrote.) My apologies. I think most of us will admit to making a similar error at least once. We often get the request to drop someone off the listserv, sometimes with a phone number included (wrong address AND sent to everyone on the list!) Once again, my apologies; I was tired and careless. Moving on. The North Carolina Bird Atlas is back in full swing mode and we can really use your help. This is one of several five-year Atlas projects that have gathered valuable breeding bird data from New York, Maryland, Virginia, and New Zealand, too! (A quick Google search will show you info on these.) Atlases describe the distribution and abundance of breeding birds, when/where they are nesting, and their local life history, and the data are collected by field technicians and volunteers like you. Start small and work your way up. Here is a challenge. Look carefully at the birds this spring. When you see some behavior that confirms they are breeding, make a note, and add your code to your checklist. You can do that when you get home: Go to ebird.org, find your checklist, click on the blue box for options, choose "species", and each species with a number has an option to add a breeding code. After you have updated your list, choose the Options box, scroll down to "Change portal", and scroll down to choose North Carolina Bird Atlas. It's that simple! Some easy breeding codes include "CN" (carrying nesting material). CN is one of my most common codes in March; a heron, osprey or crow carrying a branch, a nuthatch with shredded bark in its bill, a warbler with a pine needle all qualify. So look at their beaks this time of year! Another easy breeding code is "ON" (occupied nest) - look at every lump of sticks and leaves and you might see a bird looking back at you! And nestboxes should be watched , too. Once the leaves come out, look for birds swooping down and then up into trees and shrubs; those nests are easier to find, with practice. "NB" (Nest building) is a fun one for a sharp-eyed birder who waits and watches a robin, wren, or phoebe. Mud puddles in April often reveal the NB code as swalllows, robins and phoebes need the mud to finish their nest.
There are some tricky codes. Wrens and woodpeckers, for example, make extra nests. Crows, terns, and raptors are always "carrying food". But don't get flustered; a little research, practice, and guidance will get you adding breeding codes. A robin with a beakful of earthworms is definitely "CF" when she flies back to her ON. (Best code is FY -- Feeding Young") WHen it is a confirmed code, then definitely make a note of it. But remember: the migrants don't get breeding codes because they don't breed in that part of the state. Most of the winter waterfowl fall into this category. Bufflehead don't breed in most (all?) of NC, so count, them, admire them, but don't code them as "Pair in Suitable Habitat". And a migrating warbler moving through in May does not get the code "Singing Bird" (NC Mts you are the exception). When in doubt, leave it out.