Two pre-meeting workshops will be held on Monday, 4 August.

North American Ornithological Atlas Committee (NORAC)

Date: Monday, 4 August 2008.
Location: Portland Hilton, Parlors A, B, & C
Time: 09:00 – 16:30
Contacts: Charles M. Francis, NORAC Chair, and Andrew Couturier,

Ornithological atlases are active monitoring projects that involve 100s or 1000s of amateur and professional birders in an intensive effort to document the distribution of birds in a particular region (state, province, or county) over a fixed time period (often 5 years). Although most often used to track breeding birds, the same approaches can also be used for birds at other times of year.

NORAC was originally formed from representatives of many of the active bird atlas projects in the Americas to develop standards for data collection and data analyses, especially for breeding bird atlases, and it continues to play an important role in facilitating communication among project coordinators.

With the current surge of second atlases and the increased emphasis on ensuring that bird monitoring programs are relevant to bird conservation and management, NORAC continues to have an important role in developing standards and exchanging information on new approaches for bird atlases.

The agenda will consist of a mixture of short presentations and informal discussions throughout the day, concerning the following topics.

  1. Updates on current atlases – where are we?
  2. Developing appropriate standards for quantitative sampling to estimate abundance or relative abundance;
  3. Determining what data need to be recorded to ensure that changes in bird populations can be reliably monitored;
  4. Exchanging information on data management and data analysis tools;
  5. Exchanging information on the logistics of running and organizing atlases;
  6. Publishing your atlas – is it worth making a printed book?  Cost/benefit analysis from recent atlas projects;
  7. Other types of bird atlases (e.g., wintering, year-round, urban, marine)
  8. Combining data from neighbouring jurisdictions for analysis purposes;
  9. Habitat associations/modelling.
  10. Identifying when and where atlases might be appropriate tools for monitoring and conservation in Latin America and promoting their development.

Who can attend
This workshop is open to anyone interested in learning more about ornithological atlases, how they can be used, and how to implement them.

Further information
Further information on NORAC can be obtained from their website:

Details on the agenda will be posted on the NORAC website as they are finalized.

The U.S. Bird Banding Laboratory will offer a special pre-conference workshop on its new banding data program "BANDIT"

Date: Monday, 4 August 2008.
Location: Broadway III & IV
Time: 1400 - 1700

Are you planning to attend the AOU/COS/SCO meeting in August? Do you band birds? Don't miss a very special workshop offered by the U.S. Bird Banding Laboratory

If you've never tried Bandit - but want to start - this workshop is for you. If you are using Bandit, and have questions - this workshop is for you. Bring some sample data and a laptop loaded with Bandit (available at

To make the most of this opportunity, please read the Bandit Manual (available at ) and practice using the program.The workshop is free, but for planning purposes, please let us know if you think you might attend. Send an e-mail to Danny Bystrak at Please take note - this is a pre-conference workshop. Please be sure that you plan to arrive on Sunday evening or Monday morning if you plan to attend this workshop.