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Birding in the 21st Century.

News and Features

Dream job? Come work at eBird and Cornell!

American Tree Sparrow

There are also currently four positions open to become a part of the eBird technical team: a Principal Web Service Developer and a Web Service Developer, a Data Service Developer-Administrator, and a DevOps Engineer. Come to the Cornell Lab and be a part of the future of birding and bird information, building resources to support science and conservation worldwide. If you or anyone you know might be interested in any of these positions, please see and share the full list of positions.

Merlin Project Coordinator position available

Prairie Warbler

Merlin is one of the most popular bird identification apps in the world. Help coordinate the development of next-generation bird identification tools, using cutting edge technologies like computer vision, and help bring these new tools to millions of users. Merlin provides the answer that so many people are looking for: what bird am I seeing? When combined with the data collection resources of eBird, the future potential of Merlin’s identification and eBird’s information is massive. With the continual improvement of computer vision and deep learning processes, Merlin will be able to leverage hundreds of thousands of images of birds in developing tools that will allow for automatic identification of bird images, and who knows what else! The future is exciting, and we want you to be a part of it. Official Cornell Job Description here—apply within

February eBirder of the Month Challenge

Bohemian Waxwing

This month’s eBirder of the month challenge, sponsored by Carl Zeiss Sports Optics, focuses on the mobile world. As of December 2015, eBird Mobile is available for FREE on both iOS and Android devices. eBird Mobile makes in-the-field data entry just a few taps away, no matter where you are in the world. Increased use of mobile provides greatly improved accuracy in counting, precise location selection, and overall birding effort information. And, no more data entry when you get home at the end of the day! The eBirder of the month will be drawn from eBirders who submit at least 15 complete no-X checklists using eBird Mobile in February. Winners will be notified by the 10th of the following month.

Spring Field Ornithology Online

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For 40 years, people living around Ithaca, New York, have learned about bird identification and sharpened their field skills with this 8-week course taught by renowned birders and ornithologists. Now anyone can get in on the learning and the fun, watching lectures and taking bird ID quizzes online. Starts March 24, 2016. Learn more about the online course. Do you live in Central New York? Find out how to take the course in person, including weekly field trips.

Note: The identification sections of this course focus on birds of northeastern North America.

Noah’s 2015 World Big Year Summary

Noah's very last bird of the year (though not a new year bird) was this Oriental Bay-Owl in northeast India on Dec 31; this may be the first in-the-wild photo ever taken of the species in India!

In 2015, Noah Strycker undertook the “biggest year ever” for birding: traveling through 41 countries as he encountered 6,042 species of birds in a single calendar year—surpassing the previous record by more than 1,500 species. Noah blogged daily about his travels, and many thousands of birders followed his trials and tribulations through the course of 2015. He was also kind enough to write up monthly summaries for eBird, which we featured throughout the year. This is his final summary—the complete wrap-up of 2015 according to Noah Strycker. Read on to see more photos and also learn how Noah used eBird for all of his big year sightings. Thank you Noah, and congratulations on your amazing year!

Citizen Science Reveals Annual Bird Migrations Across Continents

See the full map animation here

For the first time, scientists at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology have documented migratory movements of bird populations spanning the entire year for 118 species throughout the Western Hemisphere. The study finds broad similarity in the routes used by specific groups of species—vividly demonstrated by a brand new animated map showing patterns of movement across the annual cycle. The results of these analyses were published today in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. Read on to see the animated map, and learn more about the published work.

Cornell Lab of Ornithology Young Birders Event 2016

Eastern Meadowlark

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology is excited to host our annual Young Birders Event, which will be held July 7 – 10, 2016 in Ithaca, New York. The Young Birders Event aims to bring together teenagers (students who will be sophomores, juniors and seniors) with a passion for birds who are interested in pursuing a career with birds. The participants will meet people who have successful careers that involve birds in a variety of ways from ornithological researchers to tour leaders, to audio specialists and computer scientists. To apply fill out the application form and return it by 15 March 2016. Sixteen young birders will be selected and notified in mid-April. Please share this information with any young birders you know! Thanks to our sponsors of the Young Birders Event: Carl Zeiss Sport Optics, Princeton University Press and the Wild Birds Unlimited at Sapsucker Woods.

National Science Foundation Grant Awarded to eBird Collaborator

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The National Science Foundation (NSF) today announced $30 million in funding to three Expeditions in Computing projects. Each grant will provide $10 million over five years to interdisciplinary, multi-investigator research teams to support transformative computing and information technology research. The Expeditions projects constitute the largest single investments in computer and information science research NSF has made. One of these $10 million grants was awarded to a team lead by Carla Gomes of Cornell University to advance Computational Sustainability, which aims to apply computational techniques to balance environmental, economic and societal needs to support sustainable development and a sustainable future. The eBird Team frequently collaborates with Carla and her team—please read more to learn about her work and the official NSF press release showcasing our new abundance map of Tree Swallow.

Arabinda Pal, December eBirder of the Month

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Please join us in congratulating Arabinda Pal of Daspur, India, winner of the December 2015 eBird Challenge, sponsored by Carl Zeiss Sports Optic. Our December winner was drawn from among those who submitted at least 15 eligible checklists containing rich media in December. Arabinda’s name was drawn randomly from the 458 eBirders who achieved the December challenge threshold. Arabinda will receive new ZEISS Conquest HD 8×42 binoculars for his eBirding efforts. We asked Arabinda to tell us a little more about himself, his use of eBird, and his love of birds – read on for more!

eBird & Birds of North America Online

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In appreciation for all those who have participated in eBird, we are pleased to offer special discounted subscriptions to the acclaimed bird life history resource: Birds of North America Online. This comprehensive resource includes information on distribution, breeding, migration, habitats, and behavior for over 700 different species of birds that breed in Canada and the United States. The accounts include photos and audio selections for all species covered. For those who would like to sign-up for a full subscription or to renew a current subscription, BNA Online is now available at the discounted rate of $25 for a 1 year subscription, $50 for a 2 year subscription and $75 for a three year subscription. Read on to find out more.