Long-term changes in the distribution of bird populations can be driven by habitat alteration caused by development, deforestation, and climate change, but significant change also occurs in the short term. Based on comprehensive, statewide research efforts conducted from 2000 to 2005, this landmark volume shows the surprising amount of change in the distribution of breeding birds in New York that has taken place in the last twenty years: a few species no longer breed in the state (e.g., Loggerhead Shrike), a few breeding species were gained (e.g., Merlin and Black Vulture), and over half of the species changed their distribution in the state, some dramatically. The consistency of survey methods in the two atlas efforts, including census of the same 5,333 survey blocks, allows for statistically significant comparisons.
In all, 1,187 volunteers spent 140,000 hours in the field, making this a substantive work of citizen science with broad applications for bird research and environmental management. In addition to the species accounts, there are chapters on methodology, results, habitats, land use, history of New York birding and ornithology, conservation, and appendixes of rare breeders as well as an updated table of the seasonal timing of breeding that completes this monumental work. The documented changes in bird distributions and land use in this stunning celebration of New York's birds will be of critical interest to both birders and conservationists.
Published in association with the New York State Ornithological Association and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation in cooperation with the New York Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at Cornell University, Cornell University Department of Natural Resources, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, and Audubon New York.