2nd Virginia Breeding Bird Atlas


What is it… Blockbusting refers to the practice of visiting and surveying one or more Atlas Priority blocks, typically located in more rural regions, over the course of a weekend or several days.  The goal of these survey blitzes is to add data to Priority blocks with little to no coverage.  This method varies from regular atlas surveying, because blockbusting volunteers are typically visiting areas that are not easily accessible from their home base.

Where to Blockbust… Virginia has several regions whose landscapes are dominated by large tracts of national forest or agricultural land with sparse human populations, meaning they have fewer local birders to help survey for breeding birds.  Primarily, these areas are located throughout southern Virginia, including the southern Piedmont and southwestern Ridge and Valley regions.  Knowing which priority blocks to focus on can be a challenge, so we ranked all un-surveyed priority blocks according to a number of criteria.  From these rankings, we produced a priority block target map to guide volunteer efforts in our final field season.  These materials can be viewed and downloaded below. For more detailed guidance on blockbusting, see our Atlas Blockbusting Guide – 2019.

Google Earth Blockbusting Target Map Layer: This map layer can be used by volunteers who prefer to view block maps via Google Earth. Simply download the file to your computer or smartphone, then open it via your Google Earth app.

(For additional Google Earth Map Layers, see our Maps and Tools page).