Are you keen on birds? or do you birdwatch regularly? Whether you are an experienced birdwatcher or a beginner, this is your chance to contribute to the most ambitious ornithological project ever undertaken in Québec: the second Atlas of the Breeding Birds of Québec.
If you are thinking about registering as an atlasser or if you would like to learn more about the project and the tasks that volunteer atlassers are requested to undertake, please consult the Frequently asked questions page.
If you are already registered as an atlasser, you will find all the instructions and details that you need to participate in the Guide for Atlassers. The guide covers topics ranging from the preparations that should be done prior to collecting data, through to data entry and submission. You will also find a wealth of information on this website, which is the gateway to the project.
If you would like to register as an atlasser, which is free of charge but obligatory, please click here.
We sincerely hope that by participating in this project you will gain a greater insight into the private lives of the birds you will be watching, and that the experience will be an enriching and memorable one.
Thank you in advance for your participation,
The Atlas Team
26 February 2014. The Atlas Office is seeking candidates to form its paid crews for the fifth and final field season of the project. If you are an experienced and highly motivated birdwatcher able to identify the nesting birds of Québec visually and by ear, and are interested in joining the team, please submit your application no later than March 31, 2014. To consult the job offer, click here. If you live in southern Québec, why not start your 2014 season now by searching for owls? As these birds nest early and are nocturnal, we have relatively little information about their breeding distributions. Therefore, we encourage you to take advantage of the last field season to make a special effort to go out and search for them. For information about surveying for owls, you can read the article “Atlasser la nuit tombée, drôlement chouette!” (in French). To find out which other species nest early (e.g., Rock Pigeon, Common Raven and House Finch), you can consult the Calendar of nesting chronology on the Atlas website. To get the most out of the last year of fieldwork, including your search for owls, we recommend you join the Atlas discussion group. This will allow you to benefit from the experience of other atlassers and from the 3000 messages that have been posted since 2010. Finally, we invite you to discover more about Jean-Pierre Barry and Daniel St-Laurent, two phenomenal volunteer atlassers from the Baie-Comeau region, who have made outstanding contributions to the Atlas.
The Horned Lark, a specialist of more open areas, has an unusual breeding distribution in Québec, with the subspecies alpestris nesting in the tundra and the subspecies praticola nesting in cultivated fields to the south. During courtship, which begins while there is still snow on the ground, the male performs spectacular acrobatic flights during which he sings a high-pitched staccato flight song that has been likened to tinkling bells. The nest is constructed by the female in a slight hollow in the ground, and as this species can be double brooded, nests with eggs may potentially be observed from mid-March to late July. When the young leave the nest they are not quite able to fly, and it is during this period that it is easiest to confirm the breeding of this typically rather discreet species. Since the first atlas, the number of survey squares in which this species has been reported has fallen by 70%, and this decline reaches a high of 96% in the south-eastern part of the province covered by the Atlas regions “Estrie”, “Région de l’Amiante” and “Beauce”. Among the possible causes for this decline is habitat loss due to the reforestation of farmland and urban development (adapted from Gauthier and Aubry 1996).
TOP 10 CONTRIBUTORS
List of participants who contributed the most to data collection. For a complete list, click here.
The Québec Breeding Bird Atlas project is open to birdwatchers of all skill levels, and we strongly encourage you
to get involved. The aim of participants of the Atlas is to find breeding evidence for as many bird species as possible within each 100 km2 survey square.