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The New York Breeding Bird Atlas: Classroom Lessons in Evolution and Geography Jeremy J. Kirchman, Curator of Birds, NYSM.

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Presentation on theme: "The New York Breeding Bird Atlas: Classroom Lessons in Evolution and Geography Jeremy J. Kirchman, Curator of Birds, NYSM."— Presentation transcript:

1 The New York Breeding Bird Atlas: Classroom Lessons in Evolution and Geography Jeremy J. Kirchman, Curator of Birds, NYSM

2 What is the Breeding Bird Atlas? A multi-year “citizen science” project to survey of all the birds species that breed in NY.A multi-year “citizen science” project to survey of all the birds species that breed in NY. –A re-survey, providing a snapshot of 20 years of change in bird distributions A book, a website, an exhibitA book, a website, an exhibit An important tool for education, research, and conservationAn important tool for education, research, and conservation.

3 An interesting tidbit to get you thinking about range maps and evolution The Red-bellied Woodpecker USGS Breeding Bird Survey Map for 2003

4 NY BBA Map NY BBA Map An interesting tidbit to get you thinking about range maps and evolution The Red-bellied Woodpecker

5 NY BBA Map NY BBA Map And how does this affect a closely related species, the Red-headed Woodpecker?

6 Outline for today’s talk Introduction to the Breeding Bird AtlasIntroduction to the Breeding Bird Atlas Using the BBA in your classroomUsing the BBA in your classroom –Evolutionary concepts illustrated by the Atlas –Investigating distribution changes over last 20 years –A fun exercise to think about the causes of change Tour of Mapping the Birds of New YorkTour of Mapping the Birds of New York

7 The Atlas of Breeding Birds in New York State R. F. Anderle & J. R. Carrol, eds. Surveys conducted

8 Ten regions, regional coordinatorsTen regions, regional coordinators 5332 blocks, 5km x 5km5332 blocks, 5km x 5km Methodology

9 Atlas Region 7: 690 blocks Block 5486A

10 Data Collection Surveyors visited all habitats in their block Spend >8 hours, at least one nocturnal survey Record evidence of breeding in all species: Possible: bird seen in likely habitat Probable: territory, courtship, nest building Confirmed: nest with eggs, incubation, feeding young, fledglings

11 New York State’s Second Breeding Bird Atlas Field work using same methods as Field work using same methods as ,200 volunteers surveyed 5,333 5x5 km blocks1,200 volunteers surveyed 5,333 5x5 km blocks 519,562 observations of 253 species (+ 3 hybrids)519,562 observations of 253 species (+ 3 hybrids) Compiled by regional coordinators and sent to project coordinator Kimberly Corwin at NYSDECCompiled by regional coordinators and sent to project coordinator Kimberly Corwin at NYSDEC Sponsored by The New York State Ornithological Association, NYSDEC (Give a Gift to Wildlife) and Cornell University Department of Natural Resources and Lab of OrnithologySponsored by The New York State Ornithological Association, NYSDEC (Give a Gift to Wildlife) and Cornell University Department of Natural Resources and Lab of Ornithology

12 The Second Atlas of Breeding Birds in New York State K. J. McGowan & K. Corwin, Eds. Surveys conducted

13 What changed in New York since 1980? Human population grew 7.5%, but also shifted (18/62 counties lost population) Freshwater wetlands increased and tidal wetlands decreased Agriculture and associated grasslands continued to decline Forest cover stayed the same (62%), but matured Human population grew 7.5%, but also shifted (18/62 counties lost population) Freshwater wetlands increased and tidal wetlands decreased Agriculture and associated grasslands continued to decline Forest cover stayed the same (62%), but matured

14 Changes in bird distributions 253 breeding species 70 (28%) increased 125 (49%) no change 58 (23%) decreased

15 Top 20 increases in distribution Palm Warbler4,300%Osprey145% Bald Eagle1,164%Cooper’s Hawk145% Boat-tailed Grackle845%Hooded Warbler144% Double-crested Cormorant709%Common Merganser134% Peregrine Falcon549%Wild Turkey132% Common Raven497%Red-bellied Woodpecker122% Carolina Wren308%Hooded Merganser110% Canada Goose273%Ring-necked Duck105% Pine Warbler218%Tufted Titmouse99% Clay-colored Sparrow190%Mute Swan86%

16 Top 20 increases in distribution Palm Warbler4,300%Osprey145% Bald Eagle1,164%Cooper’s Hawk145% Boat-tailed Grackle845%Hooded Warbler144% Double-crested Cormorant709%Common Merganser134% Peregrine Falcon549%Wild Turkey132% Common Raven497%Red-bellied Woodpecker122% Carolina Wren308%Hooded Merganser110% Canada Goose273%Ring-necked Duck105% Pine Warbler218%Tufted Titmouse99% Clay-colored Sparrow190%Mute Swan86%

17 Top 20 increases in distribution Palm Warbler4,300%Osprey145% Bald Eagle1,164%Cooper’s Hawk145% Boat-tailed Grackle845%Hooded Warbler144% Double-crested Cormorant709%Common Merganser134% Peregrine Falcon549%Wild Turkey132% Common Raven497%Red-bellied Woodpecker122% Carolina Wren308%Hooded Merganser110% Canada Goose273%Ring-necked Duck105% Pine Warbler218%Tufted Titmouse99% Clay-colored Sparrow190%Mute Swan86%

18 Bald Eagle 1164% increase

19 Tufted Titmouse 99% increase

20 Carolina Wren 308% increase 2000 – 2005 Data

21 Cooper’s Hawk 145% increase

22 Wild Turkey 132% increase

23 Palm Warbler New NY breeder in 1st atlas Now in 43 blocks (4300%)

24 Black Vulture found in 102 blocks! 6 “New” Species Trumpeter Swan, Common Eider, Black Vulture, Merlin, Sandhill Crane, Wilson’s Phalarope

25 Found in 129 blocks! 6 “New” Species Trumpeter Swan, Common Eider, Black Vulture, Merlin, Sandhill Crane, Wilson’s Phalarope

26 Top 20 Declines in distribution Loggerhead Shrike-83%Red Crossbill-64% Gray Partridge-81%Blue-winged Teal-63% Henslow’s Sparrow-80%Whip-poor-will-58% Yellow-breasted Chat-78%Golden-winged Warbler-53% Barn Owl-78%Vesper Sparrow-50% Red-headed Woodpecker -76%Green-winged Teal-45% Kentucky Warbler-72%Grasshopper Sparrow-42% Northern Pintail-72%Purple Martin-40% Common Nighthawk-71%Ring-necked Pheasant-37% Upland Sandpiper-66%Horned Lark-37%

27 Top 20 Declines in distribution Loggerhead Shrike-83%Red Crossbill-64% Gray Partridge-81%Blue-winged Teal-63% Henslow’s Sparrow-80%Whip-poor-will-58% Yellow-breasted Chat-78%Golden-winged Warbler-53% Barn Owl-78%Vesper Sparrow-50% Red-headed Woodpecker -76%Green-winged Teal-45% Kentucky Warbler-72%Grasshopper Sparrow-42% Northern Pintail-72%Purple Martin-40% Common Nighthawk-71%Ring-necked Pheasant-37% Upland Sandpiper-66%Horned Lark-37%

28 2000 – 2005 Data Henslow’s Sparrow 80% decrease

29 Red-headed Woodpecker 76% decrease

30 2 species were “lost” Confirmed in first Atlas, but not in second Canvasback and Loggerhead Shrike

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32 Breeding Bird Atlas in the Classroom Use the BBA website (www.dec.ny.gov/cfmx/extapps/bba), and other sites with facts about birds (www.dec.ny.gov/animals/271, –Compare maps for species with habitat or elevation requirements –Compare maps from 1985 and 2005 –Generate lists of species for individual blocks to investigate changes in your own backyard

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37 Multiple choice habitat questions: Which of these species nests on cliffs and tall buildings? Which of these species requires large bodies of water? Which of these species nests only where humans live?

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47 Block 5872B 8 species lost since –Ring-necked Pheasant –Roughed Grouse –Great Horned Owl –Killdeer –Whip-poor-will –Common Nighthawk –Chimney Swift –Eastern Meadowlark 24 gained since –Wild Turkey, American Woodcock, Broad-winged Hawk, Red-shouldered Hawk, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Black-billed Cuckoo, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Great-crested Flycatcher, Eastern Wood Peewee, Alder Flycatcher, Willow Flycatcher, Red- breasted Nuthatch, Brown Creeper, Carolina Wren, Purple Martin, Blue-headed Vireo, Yellow-throated Vireo, Blue-winged Warbler, Nashville Warbler, American Redstart, Pine Warbler, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Ovenbird, White-throated Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco

48 What can your students learn from studying the atlas? Vocabulary: biogeography, topography, population, niche, breeding-range, distribution, data, trend, habitat specialist/generalist, extirpation, colonization, competition, land-use … How to read and compare maps Species evolve in a response to environmental changes Evolution happens all the time, and can be seen on timescales as short as 20 years

49 One last example of the evolutionary importance of distributions: The case of the hybridizing warblers Blue-winged WarblerGolden-winged Warbler

50 53% Decline in 20 years Uses early successional habitats

51 Long history of expansion into GWW range Uses early and late successional habitats Is more aggressive than GWW

52 Outline for today’s talk Introduction to the Breeding Bird AtlasIntroduction to the Breeding Bird Atlas Using the BBA in your classroomUsing the BBA in your classroom –Evolutionary concepts illustrated by the Atlas –Investigating distribution changes over last 20 years –A fun exercise to think about the causes of change Tour of Mapping the Birds of New YorkTour of Mapping the Birds of New York

53 Thanks for your attention. Any questions?


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