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News and Features

BirdCast Migration Forecast, 21-28 April

It’s BirdCast time! Do you ever wonder what migrant birds will be arriving soon in your local birding spots? BirdCast’s weekly migration forecasts keep you up to date with what’s on deck for migration. The BirdCast forecasts highlight migrant species that you can expect to see in each of the regions covered: Upper Midwest and Northeast; Gulf Coast and Southeast; Great Plains; and West. All of these forecasts are generated with your eBird data, and wouldn’t be possible without eBirders like you! Although these forecasts are currently just for the continental US, as we get more sightings from the rest of the world we’ll be able to bring BirdCast to more parts of the world—here’s Barn Swallow progression in southeastern Asia. Read more to see what’s happening across the US in the coming days.

Explore “Most Likely” birds with Merlin

Tired of lugging around heavy field guides? Wouldn’t it be nice to have a list of the most common bird species at any location, just a tap away? Merlin Bird ID is what you’re looking for. Nearly 1.5 million people have used Merlin as a bird identification tool for birds in the Americas—putting a name to your mystery bird from a photo or by answering five easy questions. Now, with the new Explore Birds feature, you can also generate Most Likely bird lists anywhere in the world. Download Merlin and see what birds are most likely at your favorite birding spot. Read on to learn more and see how it works.

Global Big Day—13 May 2017

It’s that time of year again! Four weeks from today is Global Big Day. Your contributions to the past two Global Big Days have set back-to-back world records for the most bird species seen in a single day. Last year’s Global Big Day featured more than 60% of the world’s bird species in a single day, with sightings coming in from more than 17,500 eBirders spread across 154 countries. Thank you for making this possible. Want to be a part of the fun again? If you need an excuse to go enjoy birds on a lovely weekend day in May, we’ve got you covered. Read more for some tips on maximizing your Global Big Day experience.

BirdCast Migration Forecast, 14-21 April

Do you ever wonder what migrant birds will be arriving soon in your local birding spots? Throughout the spring we’ll be featuring the BirdCast migration forecasts weekly to keep you up to date with what’s on deck for migration. The BirdCast forecasts highlight migrant species that you can expect to see in each of the regions covered: Upper Midwest and Northeast; Gulf Coast and Southeast; Great Plains; and West. All of these forecasts are generated with your eBird data, and wouldn’t be possible without eBirders like you! Although these forecasts are currently just for the continental US, as we get more sightings from the rest of the world we’ll be able to bring BirdCast to more parts of the world—here are four species from Europe this week. Read more to see what’s happening across the US in the coming days.

eBirder’s Urban Patch Hatches a Book

Where can your eBirding take you? For Heather Wolf, it helped lead to publishing a book on her patch and a job as an eBird developer! “I went on a little quest to find as many bird species as possible in my urban patch,” explains Heather Wolf, author of Birding at the Bridge: In Search of Every Bird on the Brooklyn Waterfront. Heather became a birder while living on Florida’s Gulf Coast where the antics of nesting shorebirds and terns were impossible to ignore. A rambunctious Least Tern prompted her to research the bird, and she’s been intrigued by birds ever since. “I was very fortunate to begin birding on the beach where it was easy to observe species and study their subtle differences. When I moved back to New York City, I wasn’t sure what to expect.” What Heather found was a local patch, Brooklyn Bridge Park, with not only views of the Manhattan skyline and the Statue of Liberty, but plenty of birds. “Once my eBird patch list started growing, I wanted the local community to know about the birds of their park, so I decided to take up bird photography and share the birds of Brooklyn Bridge Park on a blog.”

Chris McCreedy, March eBirder of the Month

Please join us in congratulating Chris McCreedy of Tucson, Arizona, winner of the March 2017 eBird Challenge, sponsored by Carl Zeiss Sports Optics. Our March winner was drawn from eBirders who submitted eligible eBird checklists containing photos or audio recordings in March. Chris’s name was drawn randomly from the 24,489 eligible checklists that achieved the February challenge threshold. Chris will receive new ZEISS Conquest HD 8×42 binoculars for his eBirding efforts. We asked Chris to tell us a little more about himself, his use of eBird, and his love of birds – read on for more.

BirdCast Migration Forecast, 7-14 April

Do you ever wonder what migrant birds will be arriving soon in your local birding spots? Throughout the spring we’ll be featuring the BirdCast migration forecasts weekly to keep you up to date with what’s on deck for migration. The BirdCast forecasts highlight migrant species that you can expect to see in each of the regions covered: Upper Midwest and Northeast; Gulf Coast and Southeast; Great Plains; and West. All of these forecasts are generated with your eBird data, and wouldn’t be possible without eBirders like you! Although these forecasts are currently just for the continental US, as we get more sightings from the rest of the world we’ll be able to bring BirdCast to more parts of the world—here’s a recent analysis of some UK migration. Read more to see what’s happening across the US this week.

Kirtland’s Warbler Migration Blitz 2017

The Kirtland’s Warbler is one of rarest and most endangered warblers in the world and has always had a shroud of mystery. It was first discovered (rather late for a North American species) in 1851, the first nest was not found until 1903, and the overwintering habitat in the Bahamas were not well known until recent years. Twice a year, Kirtland’s move through the heavily-settled eastern United States to and from their breeding grounds, but even along its regular path only a lucky handful of birders have seen the species. Very little is known of the species’ stopover ecology and habitat use in migration, but we hope to help that last mystery be solved. In 2017, we are asking eBirders in three states–Florida, Georgia, and Ohio–to help by participating in our 2017 Kirtland’s Warbler Migration Blitz.

Bird Academy giveaway: How to Identify Bird Songs

Build your confidence in birding by ear with the self-paced course designed to help you remember the songs and calls that surround you. We’re excited to partner with the Cornell Lab’s Bird Academy to offer a suite of exciting educational resources in thanks for your eBirding: in April, every eligible checklist that you submit gives you a chance to get free access to Be a Better Birder: How to Identify Bird Songs.

April eBirder of the Month Challenge

This month’s eBirder of the Month challenge, sponsored by Carl Zeiss Sports Optics, helps make eBird easier than ever. As technology continues to advance in leaps and bounds with every passing month and year, the birding tools that we can provide improve apace. The perfect example is eBird Mobile—a mobile data-entry app for eBird that makes it faster and easier to track your bird sightings than ever before. More than 150,000 people have downloaded eBird Mobile so far, using the app in 26 languages—come join the fun! The eBirder of the Month will be drawn from eBirders who submit 15 or more eligible checklists using eBird Mobile in April. Checklists must be for observations during this month, not historical checklists entered during April. Winners will be notified by the 10th of the following month.