Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Second Atlas of Breeding Birds in New York State

"Thump!" That was the sound made by the new 'Second Atlas of Breeding Birds in New York State' when it arrived in the post this morning. Edited by Kevin McGowan and Kimberley Corwin, the book summarizes the findings of the second installment of the New York State Breeding Bird Atlas Project that began in 2000. The first iteration, "The Atlas of Breeding Birds in New York State" edited by Robert F. Andrle and Janet R. Carroll, was published in 1988 and summarized field work conducted between 1980 and 1985.

At 696 pages, the book is much heftier and more solidly produced than I was expecting. The cover has a gorgeous painting of a Merlin by artist John Perry Baumlin. The 2nd Atlas project coordinate by a steering committee chaired by Valerie Freer, marshalled more than a thousand volunteers who conducted summer-time surveys in more than five thousand 'atlas blocks' that covered most of the state. Each breeding or likely-breeding species - 244 species in all - has a map summarizing the data from the 2nd atlas project (2000-2005) and a often a second map documenting the perceived changes in the new data compared to the 1st project (1980-1985). The editors and a team of regional experts have written essays discussing the status of each species. Additional chapters describe the methodology, overall results, habitats, land use, conservation, history of New York birding and ornithology. Appendixes cover the rare breeders as well as an updated table of the seasonal timing of breeding.

Title: The Second Atlas of Breeding Birds in New York State
Authors: Kevin J. McGowan and Kimberly Corwin
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Publicaton Date: December 2008
696 pages, 8 1/2 x 11, Full color throughout: 25 paintings, 245 halftones, 258 tables, 164 charts/graphs, 512 maps.
ISBN: 9780801447167
Retail Price: US$59.95

No comments: