Between 1974 and 1979 hundreds of participants from throughout the state conducted the first Massachusetts Breeding Bird Atlas (Atlas 1) During this five year period all the species of breeding birds that called Massachusetts home were recorded. Atlas 1 represented the first effort in North America to systematically map the distribution of all the breeding birds in a state or province.

Since 1979 dramatic changes have taken place in the state’s landscape. Changes in the landscape drive changes in our wildlife, including our breeding birds. To understand the relationship between landscape alteration and changes in our breeding birds, we can measure the distribution and abundance of our breeding birds and compare that information to historic information. A Breeding Bird Atlas is one of the best tools for measuring these changes in bird distribution over time.

In April 2007 Mass. Audubon began the state’s second Breeding Bird Atlas (Atlas 2).  Over the course of five years, from 2007 to 2011, hundreds of participants recorded breeding birds all over Massachusetts including Cape Cod.

Preliminary results are being worked on.  Check the Atlas blog for updates

To learn more about Mass Audubon’s Breeding Bird Atlas, go to the Atlas web site at

In addition, Mass Audubon has published The State of the Birds report (released September, 2011).  To view the online version go to