Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas, Region 24 (Ottawa)
Region 24 (Ottawa) Report for 2003
by Christine Hanrahan
We are now more than half way through the atlas project and things are looking good. As you will see on the next page, almost 50% of our squares are considered complete. Many others need only a few more confirmations and a few more species to achieve the same status. This is great work — Thank you!
By now, most atlassers are familiar with the Region 24 territory, but for the newcomers a quick check of the attached map will give an idea of our area.
As happens each year, some volunteers move on to other places, other things, while new ones take their place. We thank those who have left for their contributions and wish them well, and welcome the new folk. To the stalwarts, here from day one, we say Thank You! You make this project worthwhile.
Forward to 2004!
Perth Region Squares: Our neighbour to the west, Region 25, has a very small pool of volunteers to draw from which has limited the number of squares they can cover. Mike Cadman has asked adjacent regions to take responsibility for those with little or no data. We’ve added five of the closest un-atlassed squares: 18UQ 68, 69, 87, 88 and 99. We held a square bash in UQ99 this year and brought the total from 0 to 88 species with 37 confirmations, thanks to Paul, Jodie, Mick, Mark and Marcel. Ken Allison has agreed to take over UQ69 (yea!), and we’re looking for volunteers for the remaining three. Failing that, we’ll organize square bash excursions.
Night birds: We decided 2003 would be the deciding factor in whether or not we organized any more owl prowls or nocturnal squares bashes. Data returned thus far shows that night birds are still under-atlassed compared to the last atlas. Therefore, we’ll hold April owling excursions to try and boost coverage of these often elusive birds. More news next year.
Point counts, Casual Observers and Roving Atlassers: More point counts were done this year with promises of further work in the next two years. Kudos to the roving atlassers who have been helping with point counts and extra coverage in other squares, and who have offered to continue helping until the project’s end. This kind of assistance is absolutely vital to the success of the atlas. Hats off to Erica Dunn, Paul Schoening, Celia Bodnar, Bernie Ladoucer, Langis Sirois, Kim Zbitnew and Mick Panesar. Special thanks to all the casual observers who have sent in data and helped fill the gaps.
New Stuff: The eagerly awaited update to the Bluebird CD-ROM, the Nuthatch, should be winging its way here before Christmas – it was originally due in late summer but… delays happened. Mike promises the new version will have improved quizzing ability, additional songs (up to 9 per species) and photos of each species, as well as the distribution range map from the first Atlas.
Sometime in spring 2004, Mike and Nicole will be arriving in Ottawa to host another workshop. This one, according to Mike, will likely feature “a main plenary session with three main themes: celebrating progress to date, appreciation of local volunteers, filling in the gaps (square, region, super-region and province). Afterwards, we would have a training component in the form of an open house with various information booths or stations (how to do a point count, entering data online etc..).” Sounds like a lot of fun. Stay tuned!
A more complete 2003 OBBA report will appear in the OFNC publication, Trail & Landscape, in the new year. Remember, this report is a DRAFT only – data will change as more reports are submitted.
Anne Hackston: The 2003 OBBA Annual Report is dedicated to the memory of Anne Hackston, one of our stalwarts, with us from the beginning, and the atlasser responsible for 18VQ49 North Gower. Anne passed away on October 12th, 2003. We send condolences to her family and grateful thanks to Anne for all her work. She was a keen birder who was committed to the atlas project. We’ll miss her
Results for 2003
Breeding evidence has now been found for one hundred and eighty-one (181) species, with confirmed breeding for 148 species (Table 1). During the last atlas (1981-1985) our region found breeding evidence for one-hundred and seventy-seven species.
Number of species per square
Table 2 shows the number of species recorded in each square. Twenty-one squares were not atlassed this year, but 7 of these meet our requirements for completion and we’re happy with the results. The remaining fourteen (indicated by NA -Not Atlassed) have varying degrees of coverage, but all require more work over the next two years.