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August eBirder of the Month Challenge

Blackburnian Wabler

This month’s eBirder of the month challenge, sponsored by Carl Zeiss Sports Optics, intends to motivate you to get out in the field every day, helping uncover little-known patterns in bird distributions. Around much of the world, this time of year heralds post-breeding movements in numerous bird species. Many of these post-breeding movements (e.g., dispersal) are little-known, and quite fascinating. Many birders just think of late July and most of August as the time of year to look for shorebirds—there is much more to be seen! The eBirder of the month will be drawn from eBirders who submit at least 31 complete checklists during August. That is an average of one checklist a day—we hope you won’t stop at just one! Winners will be notified by the 10th of the following month.

Mark Stevenson, June eBirder of the Month

Williamson's Sapsucker

Please join us in congratulating Mark Stevenson of Tucson, AZ, winner of the June 2015 eBird Challenge, sponsored by Carl Zeiss Sports Optic. Our June winner was drawn from among those who submitted at least 20 complete checklists containing one or more breeding codes during June. Mark’s name was drawn randomly from the 588 eBirders who achieved the June challenge threshold. Mark will receive new ZEISS Conquest HD 8×42 binoculars for his eBirding efforts. We asked Mark to tell us a little more about himself, his use of eBird, and his love of birds – read on for more!

Annual Cornell Lab of Ornithology Postdoctoral Competition

For those of you out there who are actively engaged in bird research and science, we have an exciting opportunity for you. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology encourages applications to our competitive postdoctoral program (www.birds.cornell.edu/postdoc) that supports innovative, independent research by early career scholars of exceptional promise. Two or more named positions are available annually, with applications due on September 8. Read on to learn more about this great program.

eBirding the World Big Year – June Update

Noah scans for birds along Spain's northwest coast

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 past the halfway point of 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, and Europe, tallying a fantastic 3331 species – well over halfway to his goal. 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 June here!

The Recuperative Value of eBirding

Kelley hawkwatching in Oct 2013 for the October challenge

Kelley Nunn and Robin Huff are active eBirders whose lives have been markedly improved through the use of eBird. They wrote to us independently and unsolicited, wanting to share their experiences with eBirders worldwide. In May of 2014, Kelley was debilitated by a mystery illness, and was bed-ridden for 6 months before finally discovering an accurate diagnosis: vestibular migraine/migraine disorder. All in all, Kelley spent about 10 months in bed until she began to recover in March of 2015. She has written a powerful account of how the eBirder of the Month Challenges helped to motivate her, how they gave her a purpose to get out and be active despite her troubles with vestibular migraines. The story reproduced here is a modified version of the original article that Kelley posted on her great site, My Migraine Brain. Robin had a hip replaced and found that her healing process was sped up and greatly improved by her use of eBird and other Cornell Lab citizen science projects. We hope you find Kelley and Robin’s stories as engaging as we do.

eBird Web Developer Position Available

We are excited to announce an opportunity to work with the eBird team as a Web Developer. This position is open to internal and external applicants through July 31, 2015 on the Jobs at Cornell web page here: Web Developer. If you are interested in working with eBird, developing new functionality for the website, and being part of a small team of dedicated eBird programmers who are passionate about birds – please read on for the full description!

July eBirder of the Month Challenge

This month’s eBirder of the month challenge, sponsored by Carl Zeiss Sports Optics, is all about birding with others. This could be a day in the field with a long-time birding friend that you’ve been checking the local lake with for 30 years, or someone who is just starting. They could be an eBirder already, or somebody who like birds but hasn’t started eBirding yet. The eBirder of the month will be drawn from eBirders who submit at least 15 complete checklists shared with others during July. These lists could be shared with you from another person, or shared from you to someone else. All that matters is that you have 15 complete checklists from July in your eBird account that are shared with someone else. These checklists must be entered, shared, and accepted 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.

Bolivian Nature Reserve Uses eBird Hotspot as Official Reserve Bird List

Wilson's Phalarope, a migratory shorebird that is seen at Barba Azul

In Bolivia, eBird sightings are used to define the official bird checklist for certain protected areas, such as the Barba Azul Nature Reserve, in Beni, Bolivia. Asociacíon Armonía, the organization protecting the 11,000 hectare reserve, uses eBird reports from the reserve to define the bird list for conservation and tourism purposes. Bennett Hennessey, the executive director of Asociacíon Armonía, has kindly written about how this process has worked for them. His article can be found below. Read on to learn how your eBird sightings help preserve managers internationally, and also how you might be able to use eBird data to maintain checklists for your local hotspot, reserve, or protected area.

eBird mobile app for iOS now available!


We would like to invite you to download our new eBird free iOS app for data entry. You can find the app at this link in iTunes:

Download on the App Store

In 2012, David Bell’s company BirdsInTheHand, LLC, released a mobile app called ‘BirdLog’, on Android and iOS devices. This app revolutionized the way birders recorded information in the field, and was the first and only app to tie directly into your eBird account for data entry. The app became so critical to eBird, that in 2014 the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and David Bell reached an agreement to transfer development and management the app to the eBird team at Cornell. All current iterations of BirdLog will be sunsetted in the near future, so it is important to make the switch to eBird mobile as soon as possible. The Android version will follow in a few months. Read on to learn more about the transition.

eBird & Birds of North America Online


In appreciation for all those who have participated in eBird, we are pleased to offer special discounted subscriptions to the acclaimed bird life history resource: Birds of North America Online. This comprehensive resource includes information on distribution, breeding, migration, habitats, and behavior for over 700 different species of birds that breed in Canada and the United States. The accounts include photos and audio selections for all species covered. For those who would like to sign-up for a full subscription or to renew a current subscription, BNA Online is now available at the discounted rate of $25 for a 1 year subscription, $50 for a 2 year subscription and $75 for a three year subscription. Read on to find out more.