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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.

Global Big Day is beginning!

Global Big Day is here!

May 14 is Global Big Day. For many of us across the world, this eagerly-awaited event is tomorrow, but you can start following results from the Eastern Hemisphere even sooner! It is almost 2am in New Zealand as this is written, midnight in Australia is a few minutes away, and those of us at eBird HQ are waiting with great anticipation for the first list. Where will it be from, and what birds will it have!? Stay tuned at the GBD page to find out: ebird.org/globalbigday/, or follow along at the eBird Facebook or Twitter pages. We have heard from people in more than 100 countries who will be participating, and we are profoundly moved by the overwhelming response to the Global Big Day. Thank you to everyone who has written to us and helped support the GBD, and we can’t wait to see results pouring in over the next few days. The work that we do at eBird is truly thanks to you, the fantastic global community of birders, researchers, and conservationists. Get out there on May 14th and let us know what you find! Can we pass the 6,158 species of last year? With your help, we can. Be a part of birding’s biggest day. Learn how to contribute sightings here.

Introducing eBird España!

We are very excited to announce the release of a new eBird Portal: eBird España. This eBird community has been developed in partnership with Sociedad de Ciencias Naturales Gorosti, Fundación Cajanavarra, Itsas Enara, and Birding the Strait. We’re looking forward to having eBird España make eBird’s resources more easily accessible to Spanish birders, and to working with more birdwatchers and organizations across Spain to share the tools and resources that eBird has to offer. You can check out eBird España here, and help submit some sightings!

Help illustrate The Birds of North America!

Steller's Jay, Los Angeles, CA, June 2015. David Hollie/Macaulay Library

We are in the process of performing a complete redesign of the ground-breaking online natural history series, The Birds of North America (BNA). These digital species monographs represent the most authoritative natural history resource for all of North America’s breeding birds, used by thousands of birders and researchers around the world. The new update will feature a completely revised look and feel for all species accounts, as well as more in-depth revisions of individual accounts moving forward each month. As part of the new update, we plan to more closely link the content presented in the BNA with other growing resources at the Cornell Lab or Ornithology, especially eBird and the Macaulay Library. By leveraging the strengths of eBird to create more precise species distribution information, and the Macaulay Library to create high quality, curated galleries of rich media, the BNA will become a more complete and dynamic resource. At eBird, we are now encouraging our users to contribute high quality rich media for the first three focal species in the redesign: American Robin, Osprey, and Steller’s Jay.

Global Big Day—one week away!

Hooded Warbler by Evan Lipton/Macaulay Library

How many birds can be seen in a single day? The US big day record is 294.  Last July in Peru, Sean Williams did a bird race on foot, traveling 18.15 km and finding 345 species! In October 2015, Dušan Brinkhuizen, Rudy Gelis, Mitch Lysinger, and Tuomas Seimola recorded 431 species in Ecuador, a new world record. On May 14th, you can be a part of the biggest day of birding the world has ever known: Global Big Day. All you have to do is submit the birds you see on May 14th to eBird, and you’ll be a part of the global team! Wherever you are, your sightings can make a difference.

New position open—Application Developer (Data Analysis)

Magnolia Warbler fall

With more than 300 million records, eBird is one of the largest biodiversity databases in the world. We have a new application developer position open that focuses on making use of these data, developing software and data products to ensure these data are available and appropriately used to the maximum extent by researchers and conservationists. This includes implementing the STEM workflow that produces maps of bird distribution every week of the year — while sometimes thought of as “animated maps” these data rich resources provide a wealth of information for researchers and conservationists. Key responsibilities for this position are to develop, test, code and maintain the data resources for data intensive analysis processes run on high performance computing systems. Applicants should be familiar with software development tools including R, Hadoop, Eclipse-based IDEs, team code repositories and open source libraries. Software produced by the Information Science and Technology Program generally uses R, Java, JSP, JavaScript, with an Oracle backend. This position is part of the analysis team in Information Science and will work with a broad and dynamic team of biologists, statisticians, computer scientists, application developers, and database administrators within a collaborative development environment. Find our more about this position and other open positions including Android Application Developer, Data Services DeveloperWeb Service Developer and IT Team Lead (Systems Administrator) in our list of Jobs at eBird.

Introducing eBird/Macaulay Library Media Search!

Black-bellied Plover by Ian Davies

We are excited to release the eBird/Macaulay Library Media Search, a tool for exploring photos and sounds uploaded through eBird, as well as the full collection of bird sounds and video archived in the Macaulay Library through traditional methods. With more than half a million images and thousands of audio files uploaded to eBird over the past five months there is plenty to explore! This initial version of Media Search is focused on providing results for species, date range, and location combinations, while subsequent development will focus on increasing the metadata associated with uploaded media, and building out advanced search capabilities. We hope these tools provide an exciting environment to explore the contributions of others, and also to increase the public visibility of your own efforts. Take the new Media Search tool for a test drive right now!

May eBirder of the Month Challenge

Scarlet Tanager by Brian Sullivan/Macaulay Library

This month’s eBirder of the month challenge, sponsored by Carl Zeiss Sports Optics, is all about birding on Global Big Day! May 14th is the second Global Big Day, a global event bringing birders together around the world for a single day of team birding. In last year’s inaugural Global Big Day we noted more than 6,000 species together as a global birding community—can we surpass that this year?! The eBirder of the month will be drawn from eBirders who submit 5 or more complete no-X checklists on May 14th. Winners will be notified by the 10th of the following month.

Join the eBird Team!

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker by Shailesh Pinto/Macaulay Library

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.