|Wilson's Phalarope||ęDavid Cahlander|
Volunteer Atlas Surveyors sign-up to 'own' a Priority Block (link to Where to Survey). This ensures that the block will be surveyed during the course of the Atlas project. Surveyors make multiple visits to the block throughout the breeding season to identify the different species they observe and to record whether there is evidence the species is breeding.
The survey goal for every block is to record as many different species as the surveyor finds within the block and the strongest breeding evidence for each species (e.g. adult carrying nesting material).
To survey a block is basically a 4-step process:
Step #1: Find and Sign-up to Own One or More Priority Blocks
To browse Priority Blocks in your area or anywhere in the state you have always wanted to explore, go to Find a Block (link). Blocks are identified by their Township/Range ID.
Step #2: Scout and Explore Your Block
Different habitat (agriculture, urban, woodland) may need different strategies to locate places to look for birds in the block. Suggestions for ways to explore a block are found in the Atlas Handbook.
Step #3: Get Out and Bird!
This is what the Atlas is all about. Breeding Bird Atlas surveys are not timed and surveyors do not need to find nests. Just find the places in the block that will increase the chances for finding different species and watch bird behavior. Identify the species and record the evidence code that describes breeding behavior.
Step #4: Submit Your Observations
It is easiest to enter survey data online. Surveyors who do not have access to the Internet can contact their Regional Coordinator who can make other arrangements for data entry.