It is an exciting time to be working with birds and conservation. Combining rapidly advancing technologies with an increasingly connected birding community is providing more bird-related tools and information than any time in history. With this in mind, we’ve been fortunate to expand our eBird team with a few new members in the past couple months, and we have positions for more! If you have skills in the technical realm and an interest in birds, then look no further. Come be a part of a passionate group of people that work to provide tools for birders, researchers, and conservationists worldwide. Ever wanted a specific new tool or feature in eBird? You can help make that a reality. Learn more about Jobs at eBird.
Please join us in congratulating Doug Daniels of Canandaigua, NY, winner of the March 2016 eBird Challenge, sponsored by Carl Zeiss Sports Optic. Our March winner was drawn from among those who submitted 1 or more eligible checklists in March from at least 15 locations new to their eBird account. Doug’s name was drawn randomly from the 3,835 eBirders who achieved the March challenge threshold. Doug will receive new ZEISS Conquest HD 8×42 binoculars for his eBirding efforts. We asked Doug to tell us a little more about himself, his use of eBird, and his love of birds – read on for more!
Each spring, thousands of migrating raptors move past Gunsight Mountain in south-central Alaska on their way back to summer breeding grounds. This valley migration site is best known for its large concentrations of the Harlan’s Red-tailed Hawks, as well as for good numbers of Golden Eagles, Rough-legged Hawks, Northern Harriers, Sharp-shinned Hawks, Bald Eagles, and Northern Goshawks. This year, HawkWatch International is conducting the first, full-season raptor migration count at Gunsight Mountain from March 7 – May 15, 2016, and you can track the results on eBird!
Mark your calendars–six weeks from this Saturday, 14 May, is Global Big Day! For those of us living in more northern climes, the mid-May height of spring still seems a ways off, with tantalizing early migrants already hinting at things to come. Our goal with this article is to help with your local Global Big Day preparations—ensuring that you’ll be able to get the most out of eBird and the GBD in your local area and community. After reading this, you should know how to find birds around you using eBird, how to get your friends and fellow birders excited about participating, and how to make sure that eBird is being as helpful as possible for you.
This month’s eBirder of the month challenge, sponsored by Carl Zeiss Sports Optics, focuses on fine-scale reporting and helps promote good eBird location selection habits. Almost everything in eBird depends on choosing your location correctly and precisely. Whether online or with eBird Mobile, having an accurate location associated with the birds you see makes your checklists accurate and thorough, helps you and others refind birds you report, and most importantly, gives scientists and conservationists the best possible data—allowing for everything from local analyses to global models. The eBirder of the month will be drawn from eBirders who 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. This means a total of 15 lists is required as a minimum; if you think in miles, just shoot for one mile or less. Winners will be notified by the 10th of the following month.
One of the most important parts of eBird is the location where you went birding. Every sighting has to have a location, and every data output in eBird relies on accurate locations. But how do you best select a location when traveling to a new place, or even birding around town? eBird asks for your locations to be as specific as possible, allowing us to understand where birds occur and what habitats they use at the finest scales. From this location-specific information, it is always possible to scale up to a broader level—a good example is the purple squares in the Species Map. However, the reverse is never possible. For scientists and for other birders, more specific locations are always best.
Please join us in congratulating Ed Corey of Raleigh, North Carolina, winner of the February 2016 eBird Challenge, sponsored by Carl Zeiss Sports Optic. Our February winner was drawn from among those who submitted at least 15 eligible checklists using eBird Mobile in February. Ed’s name was drawn randomly from the 2,427 eBirders who achieved the February challenge threshold. Ed will receive new ZEISS Conquest HD 8×42 binoculars for his eBirding efforts. We asked Ed to tell us a little more about himself, his use of eBird, and his love of birds – read on for more!
Are you a beginning birder, looking to take your interest in birding to the next level? If so, then consider joining eBird team member Tom Auer and fellow instructors Laura Erickson and Jerry Skinner for the weeklong “Breaking into Birding” program on Audubon’s Hog Island from May 29 to June 3 this year. Tom will be helping to instruct the program that will get you out in the field and show you how to get the most out of your binoculars, birding apps (such as eBird Mobile) and field guides. This course is a great opportunity to enjoy early breeding season songbirds on territory in coastal Maine forests, as well as a chance to visit Atlantic Puffin breeding colonies, where seabirds abound. Learn more here.
May 14, 2016. The second Global Big Day. We need your help to make it the biggest day of birding the world has ever seen. With less than three months until the day, it’s time to get started!
Last year, thanks to participation from eBirders worldwide, we were able to engage more than 14,000 people in 135 countries to submit almost 45,000 checklists, featuring 6,085 species of birds. All in a single day. More importantly, it introduced eBird to hundreds of new people, resulting in thousands of valuable checklists of bird sightings that are used for science and conservation worldwide. Thank you to all who participated, and we look forward to seeing many new faces joining the ranks this year! Read on to learn how to be a part of the second Global Big Day.
This month’s eBirder of the month challenge, sponsored by Carl Zeiss Sports Optics, focuses on exploring new areas. eBirders have entered sightings from more than 3 million locations across every country in the world. Even though that sounds like a big number, there is still a lot we have yet to learn, and a lot of areas where we have very little information! In March we’re encouraging you to explore, and fill some of those knowledge gaps. The eBirder of the month will be drawn from eBirders who submit 1 or more complete no-X checklists in March from at least 15 locations new to your eBird account. This means a total of 15 lists is required as a minimum. These locations can be hotspots or any kind of location, they just have to be new in your specific eBird account. Winners will be notified by the 10th of the following month.