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Birding in the 21st Century.

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Brian Henderson, May eBirder of the Month

Brian participating in the Wilmington Christmas Bird Count

Please join us in congratulating Brian Henderson of Norristown, PA, winner of the May 2016 eBird Challenge, sponsored by Carl Zeiss Sports Optics. Our May winner was drawn from among those who submitted 5 or more complete no-X checklists on May 14th—the Global Big Day. Brian’s name was drawn randomly from the 2,842 eBirders who achieved the May challenge threshold. Brian will receive new ZEISS Conquest HD 8×42 binoculars for his eBirding efforts. We asked Brian to tell us a little more about himself, his use of eBird, and his love of birds – read on for more!

Juliet Berger, April eBirder of the Month

Juliet in the field; photo by Scott Huizenga

Please join us in congratulating Juliet Berger of Ann Arbor, MI, winner of the April 2016 eBird Challenge, sponsored by Carl Zeiss Sports Optics. Our April winner was drawn from among those who submitted submit 15 or more complete no-X checklists in April as stationary counts or traveling counts of two kilometers (1.25 miles) or less and five hours or less. Juliet’s name was drawn randomly from the 2,675 eBirders who achieved the April challenge threshold. Juliet will receive a new ZEISS Conquest HD 8×42 binocular for her eBirding efforts. We asked Juliet to tell us a little more about herself, her use of eBird, and her love of birds – read on for more!

eBirders have now entered 1/3 billion bird records

Song Sparrow by Davey Walters/Macaulay Library

This past weekend, on June 17, eBird crossed a big milestone: a third of a billion bird sightings—contributed by 316,586 eBirders across every country in the world. Record #333,333,333 was added by Mike Madsen: an everyday sighting of a Song Sparrow in DuPage County, Illinois. See the checklist here, complete with excellent breeding codes! This milestone is much more than a number: it is a real testament to what is possible when we work together as a global birding community. The birds that you see and report make a genuine difference in our shared global understanding of bird populations and abundance. By providing an outlet for people’s avian interests, those of us at eBird and the Cornell Lab strive to provide a place to encourage and support those who share our passion for birds and the natural world. Everything that we do is powered by the loyal eBird community: anyone who has ever entered an eBird checklist has made a valuable contribution. Thank you. eBirders entered 11.8 million bird sightings in May 2016, more than in the first five years of eBird’s existence. If you haven’t yet entered records in eBird, here’s how you can join the fun! May was our first month over 10 million observations—check out the chart below for more details!

State of North America’s Birds 2016

More than 350 migratory bird species in North America are truly trinational, splitting time in Canada, the U.S.A, and Mexico over the course of a calendar year. Birds connect the three countries of North America. And according to the recently released State of North America’s Birds 2016 report, those three countries—their governments, and their societies—need to step up and do more to preserve our continent’s spectacular and shared natural heritage of birdlife. This report is the first-ever scientific conservation assessment of all 1,154 bird species in North America, and it was only possible because of the tremendous scale and big-data capabilities of citizen-science. Tens of thousands of Canadians, Americans, and Mexicans—from the Atlantic to the Pacific oceans, and the tundra to the Yucatan—contributed data that was analyzed by scientists from all three countries. eBird was one of the data sources; read on to see new data visualizations and exciting maps made from your eBird sightings.

Welcome eBird Missouri


We are excited to announce the release of eBird Missouri. Since 2004, the Missouri Department of Conservation and The Audubon Society of Missouri have worked together to manage their Missouri-born, online, data-entry site named CACHE/SPARKS.  Over the last 12 years all data from CACHE/SPARKS have been transferred to eBird several times a year. CACHE/SPARKS is now merging with eBird and we are excited to work with the Missouri Department of Conservation and The Audubon Society of Missouri to continue to provide these resources and information to the local birding communities. Next time you head to Missouri, take a look at eBird Missouri to read about the latest news from the Show-Me-State!

June eBirder of the Month Challenge

If you are lucky enough to find a Pileated Woodpecker nest with young, you would select the breeding code NY, the highest level of breeding confirmation. Then go brag to your friends.

This month’s eBirder of the month challenge, sponsored by Carl Zeiss Sports Optics, is aimed to improve our knowledge of breeding birds across the world. In the Northern Hemisphere, June is a crucial time in the annual cycle of many birds, as they build nests, hatch chicks, and hopefully fledge young – perpetuating the existence of their species. Although the rest of the world may not be in the throes of summer, 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 20 complete checklists containing at least one breeding code during June. These checklists must be entered by the last day of the month in order to qualify for the drawing. Winners will be notified by the 10th of the following month.

Help capture sights and sounds with your smartphone

Bay-breasted Warbler by  Cory "Chia" Chiappone /Macaulay Library

Spring migration! For North American birders, those two words instantly conjure up images of colorful warblers, flashy tanagers and orioles, and a host of other long-awaited Neotropical migrants. Spring migration also means the peak time for bird sound activity across much of the world; especially the northern hemisphere. Newly-arrived breeders have added their voices to the growing dawn chorus, while in the eastern US boreal breeders like Tennessee Warbler and Blackpoll Warblers can be heard singing regularly as they continue their northward migration. This year, with the new eBird/Macaulay Library media upload tool, birders have the opportunity to document the sights and sounds of spring migration in a way that has never before been possible. This exciting tool offers birders the ability to upload up to 10 pieces of rich media (photos or audio recordings) for each species observation in an eBird checklist. So, when you’re out in the field enjoying warblers and other migrants this spring, we encourage you to capture as many images and recordings as you can, and then upload them to your eBird checklists when you get back home. If your area isn’t currently in the throes of migration—don’t worry! We’d love to listen to your recordings of birds from anywhere, at any time.

Blue-eyed Ground-Dove rediscovered in Brazil

Columbina cyanopis_Rafael Bessa2

São Paulo, May 23rd 2016 – A group of researchers, supported by Observatório de Aves – Instituto Butantan (Butantan Bird Observatory) and Sociedade para a Conservação das Aves do Brasi (SAVE Brasil), announced this weekend the rediscovery of one of the rarest bird species in the world. Known as Blue-eyed Ground-Dove (Columbina cyanopis), it is critically endangered to extinction. The last confirmed record was 75 years ago, in 1941.

Global Big Day, 14 May 2016—Birding’s Biggest Day

Verditer Flycatcher on the Global Big Day by Prashant Kumar/Macaulay Library.

This past Saturday, on 14 May, a team of more than 15,000 birders took to fields and forests around the world, recording more species in one day than ever before. This was the second Global Big Day—a coming together of the global birding community, united by our shared passion for birds. 6263 species. 43,848 checklists. 15,953 participants. 145 countries. These numbers are a testament to what we can achieve when we work together. Each and every contribution made a real difference, and you are responsible for setting a new world record. Together, we did it. We are continually humbled by the generosity and passion of the birding community, and sincerely congratulate and thank you all for this amazing total. With any effort like this, there are always some good stats, photos, and stories to share—from the inspiring to the amusing. We’ve highlighted some of our favorites below, and hope that you enjoy them. Thank you for being a part of the Global Big Day and eBird, and we look forward to seeing your sightings continuing into the future.

Submit Global Big Day sightings by 17 May!

The global tally is currently at 5975—just under the magic 6k mark, and more than 57% of the world’s bird species! 38,915 checklists have been entered by 14,414 eBirders in 140 countries—all in a single day. New species are still rolling in every hour; follow along at GBD headquarters. Please submit any Global Big Day checklists by the end of May 17th—preliminary results will be released on May 18, and we want your sightings to be a part of it. If you’ve already entered your own sightings, check out the list of countries to see submissions from others—if you have a friend whose sightings aren’t represented, encourage them to get them in! Be a part of the biggest day in birding, and help us push past last year’s total of 6,158 for a new world record!

Follow Global Big Day results here.