Let's say you're out birding on June 5th, and you see a Gray Catbird. During a regular day of birding, maybe in the past you noted that individual, and recorded it. But now, go several extra steps: what is the bird doing? Is it carrying food, or carrying nesting material, or carrying a fecal sac? Maybe you never really have carefully watched a catbird up until now. Can you see if it goes to a nest? If it does, can you see if there are eggs or young in the nest?
You can start with what you already know. Atlasing will, in fact, make you a better birder.
Learn more, at a series of Atlas presentations/workshops. And be sure to attend the Atlas Kickoff meeting, Feb. 27-March 1: http://wsobirds.org/atlas-kickoff-meeting
The list of presentations/workshops is growing, but right now these are existing dates:
B.F. Goss Bird Club, Waukesha 7:00 pm Jan 25
Winnebago Audubon, Oshkosh 7:00 pm Feb 5
St Croix Valley Bird Club - River Falls Pub Library 100 pm Feb 7
Schlitz Audubon, Milwaukee, 630pm, Feb 11
Friends of Black River State Forest, Black Riv Falls, Jackson County Bank, 630pm, Feb 18
Urban Ecology Center - Riverside Park, Milwaukee - 530pm Feb 23
Mosquito Hill Nature Center, New London, 1000 am, March 7
Coulee Audubon, LaCrosse, Myrick / Hixon Ecopark, 7:00pm, March 18