Cornwall Bird Atlas


A knowledge of the distribution and abundance of birds are key concepts to the understanding of their ecology and conservation. For many years there have been randomly collected records published in the annual bird report but these do not accurately reflect the broad picture of Cornwall’s avifauna, especially when considering common breeding and wintering species. The Cornwall Bird Atlas attempts to address this with the production of both a breeding and wintering atlas, providing a clear picture of the status of a wide range of species in the county at the beginning of the 21st century. It provides a firm basis for conservationists, planners and others working for birds in Cornwall to draw conclusions.


The project arose out of the need for a definitive statement on the status of a wide range of species in Cornwall. It was managed Paul McCartney who, together with an Atlas working group, devised the methodology. Paul was the driving force behind the project initially reviewing several other county atlases and scoring them against key criteria including the scale of the atlas, the comprehensiveness of the data collection, population estimates and supporting text. This guided the working group when devising the methodology, recording forms etc. Paul was also responsible for storing and handling the data and producing regular newsletters to inform recorders of the progress.

Without Paul’s enthusiasm and commitment the project would never have reached this stage.

This Website

This atlas section of the CBWPS website presents the results of the Cornwall Bird Atlas as maps of abundance for each species in both summer and winter, and lists of the species located in each tetrad.

Supplementary maps show the species richness, assessed by counting the number of species recorded in each tetrad, in summer and winter.

Species accounts and status information is being added as these are written.