The first atlas (1984-1989)
Breeding bird atlases were started in Europe, and the first, which treated the birds of Britain and Ireland, was published in 1976. The first North American atlas for an entire state or province was The Atlas of Breeding Birds of Vermont, published in 1985. This was closely followed by The Atlas of the Breeding Birds of Ontario, published in 1987. The first Québec Breeding Bird Atlas was published 1995 (French version). The English version, The Breeding Birds of Québec: Atlas of the Breeding Birds of Southern Québec, appeared a year later.
This atlas, edited by Jean Gauthier and Yves Aubry, is without doubt the largest and most authoritative avian research project ever undertaken in Québec. During the six years of fieldwork, 1,000 participants spent 68,000 hours collecting data, and the production of the atlas involved 130 authors, and includes 1,400 photographs and 5,000 references. This atlas is more than simply a book showing the distribution of the breeding birds of Québec; it is the principal reference work for those interested in the birds of Québec.
Although there are still a few copies of the English version available ($50 plus postage and packaging), the French edition is sold out. Nevertheless, a bilingual DVD version ($19.95 plus postage and packaging) has recently been published. You can purchase either of these items at the on-line boutique QuébecOiseaux or by contacting the Regroupement QuébecOiseaux at 1-888-647-3289.