News & Features

2016 Annual Challenge – How do You Watch Birds?

Scaly-breasted Lorikeet

We are pleased to announce annual challenges for Eremaea eBirders in 2016. The challenges cater for a wide range of birding personalities, so that everyone can take part. This idea was inspired by a similar effort by BirdCount India, as well as by the 2015 eBirder of the Month challenges.

These new annual challenges are specific to Australian eBirders and are sure to be a fun way to add an extra dimension to our birding throughout Australia in 2016.

The five challenges are:

a) The Prolific eBirder: submits many eligible lists in the year (Gold: 200; Silver: 100; Bronze: 50 lists)

b) The Consistent eBirder: submits at least one eligible list in many weeks of the year (Gold: 50; Silver: 40; Bronze: 30 weeks). Each week starts on Saturday, and partial weeks count too, so there are in fact 54 eligible weeks in 2016!

c) The Adventurous eBirder: submits eligible lists from many different locations in the year (Gold: 100; Silver: 50; Bronze: 25 different locations)

d) The Faithful eBirder: submits many eligible lists from a single location in the year (Gold: 50; Silver: 25; Bronze: 12 lists at a single location)

e) The Dedicated eBirder: spends many hours birding during the year (Gold: 200; Silver 100; Bronze: 50 hours).

f) The eBirder of the Year: achieves all five challenges at the gold level!

Every eBirder who meets these criteria at the end of the year will be listed on the Eremaea eBird website. We will provide periodic updates to let the community know who is on target to achieve the challenges. We will award a prize to a randomly-drawn winner from those who achieve gold level challenges at the end of the year.

Eligibility requirements

An eligible 2016 list is (i) located in Australia, (ii) complete, with all species reported, (iii) created with an effort-based protocol, namely Travelling, Stationary, or Area search, (iv) 3 minutes or longer in duration, and (v) validated in eBird. Lists can be from hotspots or personal locations and can indicate bird abundance (numbers) or just presence (denoted by X’s), although we encourage eBirders to record numbers of birds instead of presence only whenever possible. For general advice on good practice, see the eBird help topic for making checklists more valuable. Please email any queries or questions to the Eremaea eBird team.

2014 Analysis – is this You?

Out of curiosity, we crunched the numbers to find out how many Eremaea eBirders met the annual challenge criteria in 2014. Almost a third of all eBirders achieved at least one challenge at the bronze level (28%), and 10% achieved at least one challenge at the gold level. Many eBirders achieved several of the challenges, with six people qualifying as eBirders of the year. Due to the popularity and growth of eBird, we expect that many more eBirders will meet the challenge criteria in 2016.

Number of eBirders meeting the challenge criteria in 2014

Gold Silver Bronze
Prolific 52 91 93
Consistent 21 63 73
Adventurous 61 97 119
Faithful 25 42 75
Dedicated 115 120 113
eBirder of the Year 6

 

Summary

All bird lists are welcome at Eremaea eBird, and the 2016 challenge is simply meant to be a fun way to inspire and motivate you to get out there and look at birds, which is much more important than whether you achieve any challenges or not. We recognize that there are eBirders of all levels, from beginner to expert, and that some eBirders have more time and resources to look at birds than others. Nevertheless, everyone’s eBird lists are important for the birds, as well as for our own individual sense of accomplishment. We hope you have as much fun eBirding as we do – and we wish you happy eBirding in 2016!