Mass Audubon's Breeding Bird Atlas
What is a Breeding Bird Atlas?
A Breeding Bird Atlas (BBA) is a collection of data about all of the birds that breed in a particular state or region. The data is usually collected by ornithologists and other field researchers, along with many serious amateur birders - citizen science at its best. The state is divided into 1,055 equal map blocks, and each block is observed for at least 20 hours during breeding season.
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What was BBA1?
The book, with full descriptions of each bird and beautifully illustrated with watercolors, is available in the Audubon Shop at Drumlin Farm.
From 1974 - 1979, ornithologists and birders collected data on birds that were breeding in the Commonwealth. For every bird they located during breeding season, they recorded the date, place the bird was found, and whether it was a probable or confirmed breeder.
This data was used to create Mass Audubon's first Massachusetts Breeding Bird Atlas, a comprehensive database of essentially all the birds that breed in Massachusetts, and the map blocks where they were found. The information was also published as Massachusetts Breeding Bird Atlas.
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What is BBA2?
Since BBA1 was completed in 1979, significant changes have occurred in the Commonwealth's natural landscape. This has undoubtedly had an impact on the birds that breed in Massachusetts. Collecting breeding bird data again, using the same methodology as
BBA1, will allow us to compare data from the 2 Atlases.
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Can I help?
Yes! Whether you're an accomplished birder or a novice, you can take part: