Email – May 10, 2011 – Final Year, Full-Speed Ahead


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May 10, 2011

Final Year, Full-Speed Ahead


This is an exciting time for the Atlas, as more and more birds, such as several hawk, owl and duck species, have just come into safe dates. Here are the recent additions to the list:

  • Canada Goose
  • Mute Swan
  • Trumpeter Swan
  • Wood Duck
  • Mallard
  • Turkey Vulture
  • Black Vulture
  • Bald Eagle
  • Red-tailed Hawk
  • Red-shouldered Hawk
  • Herring Gull
  • Mourning Dove
  • Barn Owl
  • Long-eared Owl
  • Short-eared Owl
  • Northern Saw-whet Owl
  • Eastern Phoebe
  • Loggerhead Shrike
  • American Crow
  • White-breasted Nuthatch
  • Bewick’s Wren
  • Eastern Bluebird
  • American Robin
  • Louisiana Waterthrush
  • Vesper Sparrow
  • Song Sparrow
  • Red-winged Blackbird
  • Yellow-headed Blackbird
  • House Finch

That is 29 new species now within safe dates, in addition to the 24 species mentioned in our last email (April 21st)!  So it’s time to get out there and atlas!

Screech-Owl: A Closer Look

Eastern Screech-Owls are distributed throughout the state of Ohio, and are found in most wooded areas, even in surprisingly small urban and suburban woodlots! They nest in cavities or nest boxes and lay anywhere from 2-6 eggs in a clutch. The Eastern Screech Owl is a small owl, with length ranging from 6-10 in. and wingspan of up to 2 ft. They have a distinctive song, a descending whinny, for which they are well known (click here to listen to it!). They respond well to playbacks, especially this time of year (their safe dates began April 1st).

Eastern Screech-Owl

As you can see from the distribution map, we still have some work to do to catalogue this species in OBBA II! Our coverage so far is incomplete, with excellent surveying in the Northwest, and less consistent coverage elsewhere. Check out the priority blocks near you via our website to see if Eastern Screech-Owls have been confirmed there (for owls and other nocturnal/hard-to-detect species, please focus on priority blocks!). If not, then now’s the time to get out there and try to find this charismatic and ubiquitous species! If you need tips on playbacks or surveying for owls, check out this archived email on our website, or contact us at

OOS Annual Meeting

The Ohio Ornithological Society’s annual meeting this year will be at Shawnee State Park and Forest, in southern Ohio (site of the first 2 meetings). This area has some of the best early summer birding anywhere in the state, with an enormous variety of breeding species. OOS and OBBA II are planning a mega blockbusting weekend as part of the annual meeting, at Shawnee State Park and surrounding areas of southwest Ohio the weekend of June 3- 5. Don’t miss this exciting event! For more info & registration forms, visit OOS’s website here.

In addition to the OOS meeting, there are a variety of exciting blockbusting events for the Atlas being held around the state. There are currently 14 events scheduled, with more in the works. Visit our calendar to find more info on an event near you!


OBBA II and the Ohio Ornithological Society have created a sponsor-a-bird auction to generate funds for the Atlas book.  Proceeds will go towards lowering the final cost of the book for the general public. During the next few months, we will be auctioning each species that will have a full account in the published Atlas.  Winning bidders will be recognized by name as the official sponsor on the species account in the book. For more details on this exciting program, visit the sponsorship website.

From all of us here at OBBA II, thank you for your continued efforts in the last season of this important project. Let us know if there is anything we can do to support your work out in the field.

Happy birding!

Paul Rodewald, Matthew Shumar, & Kate Batdorf
Ohio Breeding Bird Atlas II


...putting the nesting birds of Ohio on the map!
Questions or comments? E-mail us at or call (614) 247-6458.

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