Atlas-3 Quick-Start Guide
How to quickly get started with the Atlas
Registering with NatureCounts
Follow this link and create a username and password. If you are already registered to a NatureCounts project (e.g. Nocturnal Owl Survey, Nightjar survey), then you should use the same account to login and register for the Atlas, here..
Downloading the NatureCounts app
Click here to download the app on your android or iOS device. For detailed instructions on how to use the app, check out this video.
Going Atlassing (Birding)
Once you get to your birding location, log into your NatureCounts account on the app and start a General Atlassing checklist. Make sure your Starting Location is correct by selecting Edit. When you ID a bird, enter it into the app and include the number of individuals as well as the highest breeding evidence code observed for that species during the checklist. A short description of each breeding evidence code is available in the app when selecting a code for each species. When you are done atlassing, you may submit your checklist or save it as a draft if you would like to edit it later (Once you submit a checklist, you will not be able to edit it on the app. You must log into the NatureCounts Web Portal to edit it).
Automatically copy your Atlas checklists to eBird (watch a video instead)
- Sign into the NatureCounts Web Portal and click your username at the top right side of the page.
- Select Profile and scroll down to eBird Exports.
- Enter your eBird login information and select Update.
- Scroll down and select Save Changes.
What to take Atlassing to the next level?
How to get more involved
Contact your regional coordinator to be assigned to a square where effort is currently lacking. This way, your efforts will have the greatest impact!
A point count is a survey that involves counting all birds seen and/or heard at a designated location during a five-minute period. If you can identify the majority of birds in your region by sight and sound and would like to contribute more to the Atlas, consider performing point count surveys. Contact your regional coordinator to find out which squares need point counts. To learn more about point counts, check out the manual here.
Even if you can’t identify the majority of birds in your region by sight and sound, you can help complete point counts by taking a digital recorder with you. Contact your regional coordinator to find out which squares need point counts completed and to borrow a recording device.
Due to the temporal and/or cryptic nature of Owls, Nightjars, and Marshbirds, we have created special surveys to cover these bird groups in addition to general atlassing. Special surveys (especially owls and nightjars) can be done by less experienced birders since you only need to know how to recognize a few species at a time. Check out the special surveys page for more information.
In order to get data coverage in the roadless and remote areas of Northern Ontario, we subsidize volunteer atlassing trips every breeding season for volunteers interested in exploring the northern part of the province. If you are a canoeist and/or birder, and are looking for an adventure of a lifetime, check out the northern trips page.
Data from everywhere in the province, even the most heavily-birded locations, are important but targeting areas with low coverage and gaps can make your effort go even further. Check the atlas coverage map to find areas with little coverage or low species totals.