Big Atlas Weekend – June 24-26, 2022
If this year’s “Global Big Day” didn’t fit into your busy spring schedule, here’s another chance to make your birding count! How about a Big Atlas Weekend? This exciting annual event is a fun way for birders from across the province to document breeding birds and come together as a birding community. For many birds in our area, breeding peaks in late June. It’s a great time to confirm breeding and fill gaps in the Atlas dataset.
This event is being coordinated across the four US states and two Canadian provinces currently conducting breeding bird atlases: Newfoundland, Ontario, New York, Maine, Maryland and DC, and North Carolina.
June 22 @ 6 pm EDT – Kickoff. Introduction by the six Atlas coordinators followed by guest speaker Robyn Bailey, Project Leader at NestWatch. Robyn will be talking about how the data NestWatch collects both complement and differ from atlas data, what kinds of questions NestWatch is answering with those data, and best practices for making high-quality observations on nesting birds. Register for this event here.
June 24-26 – Big Atlas Weekend! Go atlasing in any of the six participating regions from 6 pm NDT on Friday to 11:59 pm NDT on Sunday.
June 29 @ 6 pm EDT – Awards ceremony. Enjoy highlights from the weekend, share your stories in small groups with atlassers from all regions, and find out who won the individual and state/provincial champion awards. Register for this event here.
How to Participate
Joining the fun is easy! All you need to do is go atlassing between 6:00 pm NDT Friday, June 24 and 11:59 pm NDT Sunday, June 26 and submit your checklist through the NatureCounts App or Web Portal.
If you’re new to atlassing, check out the Atlassing 101 and Data Entry videos on the Tutorials and Bird ID Videos page!
Challenges and Prizes
The Big Atlas Weekend will have prize opportunities for atlassers of all skill levels, ranging from first-timers to veterans. One prize winner will be randomly selected in each of the following categories to win a Cornell Lab of Ornithology Bird Academy course of their choosing.
Complete Atlas checklist in a square you have not atlassed inbefore
Coded species (i.e., species with breeding evidence) that were not coded in that square before the Big Atlas Weekend
- Learn about breeding evidence codes
Complete Atlas checklist with at least one confirmed species
Complete Atlas checklist with nocturnal effort
- A nocturnal checklists is one submitted between 20 minutes after sunset and 40 minutes before sunrise
Complete Atlas checklist with at least one coded rare/priority species
Complete Atlas checklist in an incomplete square
- Explore the Atlas coverage map
In addition, each region will be awarding an “MVP” award to an atlasser who makes an especially notable contribution over the weekend.
Just to make this event even more exciting, the Atlas team has set up a friendly competition between the six participating projects: Newfoundland, Ontario, New York, Maine, Maryland and DC, and North Carolina. The winning project will receive the Big Atlas Weekend trophy and have their state or province engraved on the side. Maine took it home last year; who will get it this year??
The winning region will be selected based on its rank in each of 3 inter-region challenges (standardized across regions by the number of atlassers). The region with the highest cumulative rank will become the overall winner of the Big Atlas Weekend – and recipient of the trophy!
The inter-atlas challenges are:
- Nocturnal checklists
- Number of nocturnal checklists submitted during the event in each region
- Breeding codes
- Total number of breeding codes submitted during the event in each region
- New-to-user squares
- Percent of atlassers in each region who submit an atlassing checklist during the event in a block they have not personally atlassed in before