Ohio’s Bird Atlases

To date, Ohio has conducted three bird atlases: two breeding bird atlases (1982-1987 and 2006-2011) and a winter bird atlas (2002-2007). These grid-based citizen/community-science surveys have been instrumental in understanding changes in species distributions and populations and have resulted in important conservation action. Find resources below for each atlas project, including links to final publications.

Ohio Breeding Bird Atlas (1982-1987)

The Ohio Breeding Bird Atlas book

Through the direction of Bruce G. Peterjohn and Daniel L. Rice, approximately 500 volunteers collected field data for Ohio’s first Breeding Bird Atlas between 1982 and 1987. This monumental task culminated in the publication of The Ohio Breeding Bird Atlas and reported a total of 193 breeding species during the atlas period (182 species were confirmed as breeding). The Ohio Breeding Bird Atlas treated each species separately with its own species account.

The book is now out of print, but a digital copy can be viewed online at the OBBA2 website HERE.

Ohio Breeding Bird Atlas II (2006-2011)

The Second Atlas of Breeding Birds in Ohio book

Fieldwork for Ohio’s second breeding bird atlas started in Spring 2006 and concluded after 2011. The ultimate success of the atlas depended on the active participation and efforts of birders and outdoor enthusiasts from throughout the state. The second atlas for Ohio generated extensive information that is essential for the effective conservation and management of birds. By engaging Ohio’s citizens in this cooperative effort OBBA II fostered interaction among bird enthusiasts of all experience levels and heightened public awareness of birds in Ohio.

Results from the atlas are currently available in The Second Atlas of Breeding Birds in Ohio (Rodewald et al. 2016), available from Penn State Press. These data have been an invaluable contribution to avian conservation in Ohio and regionally. For more information on atlas methodology, and to request access to the data, visit the atlas website, archived at: http://www.ohiobirds.org/obba2/. The Ohio Bird Conservation Initiative hopes to make results from the breeding bird atlas available in an online mapping tool in the near future.

Ohio Winter Bird Atlas (2002-2007)

White-breasted Nuthatch. Photo by Matthew Shumar.

Black Swamp Bird Observatory coordinated one of the country’s first winter bird atlas projects, with field work from 2002 through 2007. The winter bird atlas detected distributions for nearly 200 species, providing important information to better inform full life-cycle conservation. The atlas is in the final stages of publication. You can find more information on the project at BSBO’s website: https://www.bsbo.org/ohio-winter-bird-atlas.html.