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October eBirder of the Month Challenge

mixed shorebird flock

This month’s eBirder of the month challenge, sponsored by Carl Zeiss Sports Optics, focuses on counting. Everytime you go eBirding, there is some counting involved. Whether that is counting the number of species that you see, or the number of individuals of each species—you’re already doing it. The goal of the challenge this month is to make your sightings count…by counting the birds you see! Avoiding the use of “X” in your checklist (where “X” means “present”), makes your sightings much more valuable for science and conservation. The eBirder of the month will be drawn from eBirders who submit at least 31 complete checklists not containing an “X” during October. That is an average of one checklist a day—and all you have to do is count! Winners will be notified by the 10th of the following month.

Counting 102—birds at feeders

Northern Cardinal

A couple years ago we published the Counting 101 and Counting 201 articles, tutorials for how to more effectively and accurately count birds that you’re seeing. Counting 101 focuses on the basics—how to keep track of birds throughout a birding outing, and how to count a flock in parts to estimate the total. Counting 201 takes this a step further, dealing with large numbers and flocks of birds in motion. Counting 102 is intended to take these counting best practices and apply them to feeder birding—a slightly different counting problem, but an important one to address. For anyone who has wondered how best to count and eBird the birds visiting you feeder—this article is for you.

Introducing eBird Brasil

We are excited to announce the launch of eBird Brasil—a regional eBird portal for birders across Brazil. eBird Brasil is run by a team of collaborators that include SAVE Brasil, Instituto Butantan, and the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro. We are very excited to work with these great organizations and establishments to expand the use of eBird in Brazil. Since the Global Big Day this past spring, eBirding has taken off in Brazil like never before. Brazilian birders were so engaged in the Global Big Day totals, and the competition for the most species seen worldwide on May 9th, that one Brazilian eBirder stated: “This is like watching a World Cup match!” We can think of no higher praise. In fact, the Global Big Day was such a hit that SAVE Brasil has organized the Big Day Brasil Primavera 2015

eBird joins forces with the Macaulay Library—Media Upload Coming Soon!

Atlantic Puffin

We’re thrilled to announce a new collaboration with the Macaulay Library that will enable you to add photos and sounds directly to your eBird checklists. Each piece of media you upload will become a digitally archived specimen. This collaboration will build an archive of media associated with complete checklists of bird observations from around the world. With tens of thousands of eBirders across the globe contributing media, the potential to generate a digital library on a previously unimaginable scale is incredible. This collaboration provides a tremendous opportunity to document bird observations worldwide and provides a stable, long-term, and easy-to-use archive for your images and audio. We aim to launch this new functionality throughout eBird within the next couple months. Want to try it out sooner than that? Read on.

Adrien Mauss, August eBirder of the Month

Adrien Mauss, seawatching on Kerguelen Island

Please join us in congratulating Adrien Mauss of Mulhouse, France, winner of the August 2015 eBird Challenge, sponsored by Carl Zeiss Sports Optic. Our August winner was drawn from among those who submitted at least 31 complete checklists in August. Adrien’s name was drawn randomly from the 1,878 eBirders who achieved the August challenge threshold. Adrien will receive new ZEISS Conquest HD 8×42 binoculars for his eBirding efforts. We asked Adrien to tell us a little more about himself, his use of eBird, and his love of birds – read on for more!

eBirding the World Big Year – August Update

Red-and-yellow Barbets on a termite mound in Kenya

In 2015, Noah Strycker is attempting to become the first person to see 5000 species of birds—about half of the avian species on Earth—in one calendar year! Noah is now more than two-thirds through 365 straight days of birding around the globe, with an itinerary covering 34 countries and all seven continents, on one continuous, all-out, global birding trip. To date he has covered Antarctica, South and Central America, Europe, and Africa, tallying a fantastic 4267 species – more than 80% of the way to his goal, and just a handful of species away from the all-time record. Noah is using eBird to keep track of his sightings and to help strategize during his quest, as well as to connect with many other birders as he travels. You can see his daily blog accounts on Birding Without Borders. He has been kind enough to write up a summary of his travels for us each month – you can find his notes from August here!

Birding Aboard “SeaBC” Has Sailors Reporting Unusual Birds

Brown Noddy, photo ©Ellen Massey Leonard

The Birding Aboard project is comprised of a global oceangoing observer network—people whose love of boating is complemented with an interest in birds. Volunteers across the world keep track of the birds that they see, reporting offshore sightings (at least two miles from shore), and often documenting these observations with photos. This includes people cruising along the eastern seaboard of North America; boaters cruising through the high arctic; and sailors circumnavigating the world. Featured here is an press release overview of the Birding Aboard project, including some of the highlights that people have seen from every corner of the world’s oceans. It’ll make you want to get on a boat and head for a blue horizon. Click here to read more.

September eBirder of the Month Challenge

Bobolink, a regular September flyover in Eastern North America

This month’s eBirder of the month challenge, sponsored by Carl Zeiss Sports Optics, is going to keep your eyes trained skyward. In September, birds are in the throes of migration on a global scale. In North America, almost every group of migrant birds is in full-blown movement over the coming month. This means that in addition to great birding, there is also the chance to witness visible migration events happening right overhead. By keeping an eye cast upwards and noting the birds that pass overhead, we can gain a more complete understanding of which birds are using a habitat, and which are just passing through. The eBirder of the month will be drawn from eBirders who submit at least 30 complete checklists containing one or more Flyover codes during September. That is an average of one checklist a day—a good reason to get outside during one of the most migrant-filled months of the year! Winners will be notified by the 10th of the following month.

Become an eBird Partner


For more than 12 years, eBird has been available as a place for birders, researchers, and conservationists to submit, explore, and download data on birds. During this period, eBirders submitted more than 263 million observations. These sightings span every country in the world, and to date they have been used in over 100 peer-reviewed publications. In the last year, more than 1.7 million people have visited the website to explore these data. eBird is a free resource open to anybody who wishes to use it. We are asking those who have the means to support eBird to help, and we’ve made it even easier with our new monthly giving program, through which you can become an eBird Partner. This program provides participants with access to new eBird developments as an eBird Beta Tester, and it also includes a Cornell Lab membership—providing you with access to Living Bird, our award-winning, members-only magazine.  Most importantly, you’ll know you are making a difference. We believe in this program, which is why we each of us is also an eBird Partner; we hope you’ll join us.

Web Designer and Developer Positions Open

Malachite Kingfisher

We are excited to announce an opportunity to work with the Macaulay Library and eBird teams as an Interactive Web Designer. This position is open to applicants via the Cornell website here: Web Designer Position. Team eBird will soon be joining forces with the Macaulay Library to offer tools to submit and archive photos, sounds, and video. As a part of this work, there is also a Web Developer Position still open with eBird. If you would like to join the Cornell Lab team and design new tools to explore and submit rich media – please read on for the full description!