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“Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant.”

- Robert Louis Stevenson


What is a Bird Atlas?
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A bird atlas is typically a citizen-science project to establish a comprehensive list of birds in a particular area, including their dates of occurrence and distribution.

Most bird atlases are conducted at the state level and collect data only on breeding birds. The Loudoun County Bird Atlas is unique in that the project is county-wide and will collect data year-round for both breeding and non-breeding birds.

Birds play a key role in our ecosystem and are important indicators of the overall health of our environment. Loudoun’s diverse habitats, ranging from forests and wetlands to suburban parks, make this county an important breeding and wintering site for many birds. This atlas project will create a baseline of information that can be used to indicate areas in need of conservation and measure the success of future conservation activities.
Resources for Bird Atlas Volunteers:

Bird Atlas 2009-2013 Data Entry Link

Check Out our Latest Data Results

How is our Bird Atlas being developed?
The first step in developing the Bird Atlas was compiling the Birds of Loudoun Checklist. This list includes over 295 birds identified in the county through September 2008, with over 110 confirmed or probable breeders. The information for this list was gathered from a variety of resources, ranging from local nature preserve bird lists and Christmas/migratory bird count data to the Virginia Avian Records Committee (VARCOM) report.

We have divided Loudoun County into a grid of 75 blocks, based on sections of U.S. Geological Survey quadrangle maps. Each block is approximately 10 square miles. Participants will be assigned to different blocks to ensure county-wide coverage.

Volunteers will use a field card to collect data on the occurrence and distribution of birds throughout Loudoun County. Data processing will be handled by BBA (Breeding Bird Atlas) Explorer, an online system hosted by USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center and National Biological Information Infrastructure.

Field data will be collected from spring 2009 through spring 2013. Our goal is to publish a Birds of Loudoun booklet in 2014 with the atlas results and information on Loudoun County’s important bird areas.

You can help with this project:
We need more people to help with this bird inventory. The block that your neighborhood or favorite nature trail is in could be one where no one is monitoring. If you are interested in volunteering for this project or would like more information, please contact our Bird Atlas Coordinator, Spring Ligi, at sligi@loudounwildlife.org. We would love to have your help with this important project. All birds count!

Upcoming Training For Volunteers:
The atlas training sessions are scheduled every few months as we get new volunteers. The training session provides an opportunity to meet other atlasers and become familiar with atlasing and entering your data. A printed copy of the atlas handbook, block map, field card, and other information is provided to each block owner in their participant packet.