VERMONT BREEDING BIRD ATLAS POSTING
Based on a couple of questions I've received, it seems worthwhile to
reiterate a point, to be sure that there is no confusion: for any of the CO
(confirmation) codes, do not concern yourself with whether your observation
falls within safe dates. Safe dates are only for the O, PO, and PR codes.
The safe dates are only to ensure that people are seeing birds that are
likely to be breeding, rather than birds passing through before or after
breeding. A CO code means you witnessed breeding yourself, so this ned not
be subjected to safe dates. Safe dates are not meant to imply when a
species begins and ends breeding; rather, they indicate when they are not
likely to be migrants.
So for example, if we have passed the ending safe date for a species, it
means that some individuals are finished breeding and are wondering around
off their breeding territories. However, other individuals could still be
breeding. Thus, even though we are beyond the safe dates for that species,
you may still witness a CO code like a recently feledged young or even a
nest. That observation is valid and should be counted. Any observations
that are not under the CO category, however, would not be valid, because
they could be individuals that bred elsewhere and are simply passing
through your block. Without confirmation that they are breeding (a CO
code), it is too big of an assumption to say that they are possibles or
probables on your block.
I hope this helps clear up any lingering confusion!
Cheers to All,