For more than 12 years, eBird has been available as a place for birders, researchers, and conservationists to submit, explore, and download data on birds. During this period, eBirders submitted more than 263 million observations. These sightings span every country in the world, and to date they have been used in over 100 peer-reviewed publications. In the last year, more than 1.7 million people have visited the website to explore these data. eBird is a free resource open to anybody who wishes to use it. We are asking those who have the means to support eBird to help, and we’ve made it even easier with our new monthly giving program, through which you can become an eBird Partner. This program provides participants with access to new eBird developments as an eBird Beta Tester, and it also includes a Cornell Lab membership—providing you with access to Living Bird, our award-winning, members-only magazine. Most importantly, you’ll know you are making a difference. We believe in this program, which is why we each of us is also an eBird Partner; we hope you’ll join us.
We are excited to announce an opportunity to work with the Macaulay Library and eBird teams as an Interactive Web Designer. This position is open to applicants via the Cornell website here: Web Designer Position. Team eBird will soon be joining forces with the Macaulay Library to offer tools to submit and archive photos, sounds, and video. As a part of this work, there is also a Web Developer Position still open with eBird. If you would like to join the Cornell Lab team and design new tools to explore and submit rich media – please read on for the full description!
For the past 24 years, Jerry Blinn ran Avisys—an excellent offline birding program that allowed you to track your bird lists. Due to an unfortunate and unexpected health issue, Avisys was closed on August 1st, and the program is no longer supported. Our best wishes go out to Jerry. Jerry has always been a great supporter of eBird, and has encouraged his users to transfer their records from Avisys to eBird. Your first reaction when thinking about moving your records to eBird might be one of apprehension–especially when you contemplate moving all of your sightings over from the past 5, 10, or 40 years. It shouldn’t be! Birders have moved all of their sightings from Avisys to eBird in a single afternoon. We can assure you that many eBirders have already made this transition with minimal effort, and are now happily contributing their sightings to science and conservation on a global scale, while also having their lists tracked just as before. We’re here to help Avisys users interested in transferring their data to eBird through the process—thank you to everyone who has already made the switch. Please read on for more information on moving to eBird with ease.
Across the world, the ranks of birders are in constant flux, with new people picking up birds as a hobby—sometimes evolving that hobby into a defining passion—while at the same time there are people moving out of birding to other non-avian walks of life. In order to most effectively cultivate appreciation for birds and conservation on a global scale, it is crucial to encourage the interest that people can have in birds, especially for people starting out their professional lives. The International Collegiate Ornithological Network (ICON) is a project that does just that. Helping connect collegiate birders across the world, ICON provides a central location for people to find common ground over their shared interest, and create local collegiate communities focused around birding. Ross Furbush of ICON has kindly written an article on the project—we hope you enjoy it!
A lot of exciting developments have happened recently with eBird, and we wanted to share those with you, as well as express our gratitude and appreciation for all that you eBirders have helped bring to life. We hope this overview provides a picture of the current direction of eBird, while also highlighting some features and details about eBird that you might not have known before.
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 almost two-thirds through 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 3996 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 July here!
We are excited to announce the launch of eBird India—a regional eBird portal dedicated to birding endeavors across India. eBird India is run by a team of collaborators at Bird Count India. eBird has been quite popular in India since a number of Indian birders began using the Great Backyard Bird Count a few years ago—their initial interest in that single-weekend count has translated into a year-round passion for eBirding. With the burgeoning growth of the Indian eBird community, we are pleased to showcase this portal as an excellent way to engage local birders and grow the eBird community throughout India.
If you’ve been birding in India before, are currently, or will be sometime in the future, keep tabs on the eBird India page for regular information on birding news and events. With almost 90,000 checklists already submitted to eBird for India, totaling 1181 species from the highlands of Ladakh to the southern tip of Kerala, we look forward to seeing even more people eBirding in India—helping inform birding, science, and conservation efforts across the country and world.
The first BirdCast of fall is officially here! Throughout the fall we’ll be featuring the BirdCast migration forecasts weekly to keep you up to date with what birds are arriving in your area. If you want to know what species of migrant birds will be showing up in your neck of the woods on any given week throughout the migration season, this is the place to look! These updates will also be posted on the eBird Facebook and Twitter pages – by following those pages you can get the same information delivered to your social media platform of choice. The BirdCast forecast highlights 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. Click here to see links to each of the regions, where you can see what to expect in your backyard or favorite birding spot! All of these forecasts are generated with your eBird data, and wouldn’t be possible without eBirders like you! Thank you.
We are delighted to announce that the latest version of eBird Mobile is now available in Spanish, French, Chinese (Traditional), German, and English. We are in the midst of adding Portuguese and Turkish to that list of languages, which will soon let us provide the same languages throughout the Mobile app that are available here on the eBird website. In addition, whether you’re using the eBird website or the mobile app, make sure to choose the bird species names that work best for you—learn more here. To download the FREE app for iOS, either click here or on the “Download” button below. For those of you with Android phones—we are working as fast as we can on an Android version of the eBird Mobile app, and we aim to have that out within the next few months. For our full story about eBird Mobile, you can read more here.
Please join us in congratulating David Fraser of Victoria, British Columbia, winner of the July 2015 eBird Challenge, sponsored by Carl Zeiss Sports Optic. Our July winner was drawn from among those who submitted at least 15 complete checklists shared with other eBirders during July. David’s name was drawn randomly from the 989 eBirders who achieved the July challenge threshold. David will receive new ZEISS Conquest HD 8×42 binoculars for his eBirding efforts. We asked David to tell us a little more about himself, his use of eBird, and his love of birds – read on for more!