Your bird sightings can influence more than just the birding and conservation worlds. eBird checklists are a quintessential example of ‘Big Data’—a massive dataset, chock full of patterns, that contains myriad opportunities to explore exciting questions in fields like statistics or machine learning. Giles Hooker, Associate Professor in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University, has been using eBird data to understand inherent biases in predictive models that use large datasets. How do you control for as much bias as possible? How can you quantify uncertainty? Read more about how your eBird data are having impact here.
Most birders know that males of many bird species sing. Less well known is that females of many species sing too – and that their songs can often be equally beautiful and complex. In fact, recent research shows that females sing in about 2/3 of songbird species, and that female songs likely evolved alongside male songs in the early ancestors of modern songbirds. Yet, female songs are greatly underrepresented in recording collections. For researchers to understand how songbirds evolved their diverse songs, we need recordings of female songs from around the world. This is a daunting task. The Female Bird Song Project is asking birders, like yourself, to help observe and record female songs through your eBird checklists. Read more to find out how you can help!
Want to learn how to be a better birder? We all feel that sometimes. 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 June, every eligible checklist that you submit gives you a chance to win free access to the online self-paced courses Be a Better Birder 1 & 2.
Ten lucky eBirders will get this course for free for their June eBirding! If you like taking part in the eBirder of the Month Challenges, here are even more opportunities to motivate yourself to get out birding. Each month of 2017 will feature a different Bird Academy course offering—tune in at the start of July to see what’s on tap for next month.
Please join us in congratulating Ken Burton of Klamath, California, winner of the May 2017 eBird Challenge, sponsored by Carl Zeiss Sports Optics. Our May winner was drawn from eBirders who submitted 3 or more eligible checklists on 13 May—Global Big Day. Ken’s name was drawn randomly from the 5,684 eligible eBirders who achieved the May challenge threshold. Ken will receive new ZEISS Conquest HD 8×42 binoculars for his eBirding efforts. Read more to see Ken’s full story.
This month’s eBirder of the Month challenge, sponsored by Carl Zeiss Sports Optics, gives you a chance to improve our knowledge of breeding birds across the world. In much of the world, June is a critical time in the annual cycle of many birds, as they build nests, hatch chicks, and hopefully fledge young—perpetuating the existence of their species. Even if June isn’t peak breeding season near you, there are still many signs of breeding to be found wherever you are! The eBirder of the month will be drawn from eBirders who submit at least 15 eligible checklists containing at least one breeding code during June. eBird Mobile now lets you enter breeding codes on your mobile checklists, so taking part is easier than ever. Winners will be notified by the 10th of the following month.
eBird Mobile has been available as a speedy and free data-entry app for iOS and Android devices since 2015. Nearly 200,000 people have used eBird Mobile, and over 50% of all eBird sightings are now entered via the app. Until recently, eBird Mobile has been entirely focused on data collection—today we’re very excited to announce the release of My eBird tools across eBird Mobile! See your life list, your year list, your month list, and how your birding this year compares to your past years. Can you beat your record from last year? Are you ahead of pace this year or a bit behind?
In the coming months, we’ll be adding an eBird Mobile feature that lets you collect GPS tracks of where you bird (making distance calculations easier than ever), as well as more exciting mobile tools.
At eBird, our goal is to connect valuable birdwatcher sightings with research and conservation. The eBird checklists that you’ve entered have been used in over 100 peer-reviewed papers, and hundreds of local, regional, and national conservation decisions. We’re excited to feature one of the most recent papers published on eBird, “Increasing phenological asynchrony between spring green-up and arrival of migratory birds”. Read on to see lead author Stephen Mayor’s story of how eBird data helped illuminate an increasing mismatch between when plants green up and when migrant birds return in spring.
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, highlighting migrant species that you can expect to see. 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 United States, as we get more sightings from the rest of the world we’ll be able to bring BirdCast to more regions. Read more to see what’s happening across the US in the coming days.
Birds are inspiring creatures. Their amazing migrations and behaviors capture our imagination, and their global presence lets us appreciate them wherever we are in the world. The power that birds have to bring people together across cultures, languages, and countries is truly exceptional. Global Big Day is the realization of the magic of birds—a single day where the birding world unites in a shared pursuit, seeking to answer the simple question: how many birds can be seen in one day?
On 13 May 2017, almost 20,000 birders from 150 countries around the world joined together as a global team, contributing more than 50,000 checklists containing 6,564 species—more than 60% of the world’s birds. This is a new record for the number of bird species reported in a single day, and it’s thanks to you. From Antarctica to Zimbabwe, your contributions make this possible.
Global Big Day. 13 May 2017. Sightings have already been reported from more than 140 countries around the world, with over 6000 species reported by 15,000 eBirders. Follow live results here. We’re on track to set a new record for birding’s biggest day for the third year in a row—and your sightings are what make that possible! Enter your sightings in eBird before the end of the day on 16 May (Tuesday) to make them count. There are already more than 1,300 species eBirded from Colombia (!), and Brazil and Peru have crossed the 1,000-species mark as well. Who will finish in the #1 slot? See the cumulative world species list here.