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BirdSleuth Garden Grants

Suburban and urban green spaces, including schoolyards, can provide useful habitat to migrating birds, and can host high concentrations of them. The BirdSleuth Garden Grant program, established by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Alaska® fertilizer, encourages teachers to create bird-friendly, kid-friendly gardens that provide a wonderful space where kids can watch, enjoy, and count birds. “Inspiring future gardeners with hands on experience growing bird habitat and garden fresh foods and providing teachers with supporting STEM curriculum is what this program is all about,” says Brian Thille, Senior Director of Marketing at Alaska®. Research shows that students who participate in school gardens and spend more time outside are not only healthier and happier, but score significantly higher on science achievement tests.

Global Big Day webinars: 9 & 11 May

The Cornell Lab’s BirdSleuth K-12 education program will be hosting a webinar for educators focusing on Global Big Day. The webinar will be offered four times, twice each in English and Spanish, on 9 May and 11 May. See below for times. The English version (1 hour) will give educators the confidence to work with students around migration, eBird, and Global Big Day. During this webinar educators will learn how to define migration and understand the purpose of these seasonal movements; understand the concept of citizen science and the program eBird; explore citizen-science data through an educators perspective; and how to participate in Global Big Day. The Spanish webinar (30 minutes) will be more generalized and discuss how educators can engage their communities in Global Big Day.

Bird Academy giveaway—Ornithology: Comprehensive Bird Biology

Have you ever wanted to learn more about how birds navigate in migration? The science behind flight? We’re excited to partner with the Cornell Lab’s Bird Academy to offer a suite of exciting educational resources in thanks for your eBirding: on 13 May, Global Big Day, every eligible checklist that you submit gives you a chance to win free access to Ornithology: Comprehensive Bird Biology CourseThis is a ~$350 value with the included e-book, and we’ll have 5 copies to give away.

Five lucky eBirders will get this course for free from their Global Big Day eBirding! If you like taking part in the eBirder of the Month Challenges, here are even more excuses to motivate yourself to get out birding. Each month of 2017 will feature a different Bird Academy course offering—tune in at the start of June to see what’s on tap for next month.

BirdCast Migration Forecast, 28 April-5 May

It’s BirdCast time! Do you ever wonder what migrant birds will be arriving soon in your local birding spots? BirdCast’s weekly migration forecasts keep you up to date with what’s on deck for migration. The BirdCast forecasts highlight 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. All of these forecasts are generated with your eBird data, and wouldn’t be possible without eBirders like you! Although these forecasts are currently just for the continental United States, as we get more sightings from the rest of the world we’ll be able to bring BirdCast to more parts of the world. Read more to see what’s happening across the US in the coming days.

May eBirder of the Month Challenge

This May’s eBirder of the Month challenge, sponsored by Carl Zeiss Sports Optics, is all about birding on Global Big Day! 13 May is the third Global Big Day, bringing together birders around the world for birding’s biggest day. In last year’s Global Big Day we noted 6,332 species together as a global birding community—can we top that this year?! The eBirder of the month will be drawn from eBirders who submit 3 or more eligible checklists on 13 May. Winners will be notified by the 10th of the following month.

BirdCast Migration Forecast, 21-28 April

It’s BirdCast time! Do you ever wonder what migrant birds will be arriving soon in your local birding spots? BirdCast’s weekly migration forecasts keep you up to date with what’s on deck for migration. The BirdCast forecasts highlight 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. All of these forecasts are generated with your eBird data, and wouldn’t be possible without eBirders like you! Although these forecasts are currently just for the continental US, as we get more sightings from the rest of the world we’ll be able to bring BirdCast to more parts of the world—here’s Barn Swallow progression in southeastern Asia. Read more to see what’s happening across the US in the coming days.

Explore “Most Likely” birds with Merlin

Tired of lugging around heavy field guides? Wouldn’t it be nice to have a list of the most common bird species at any location, just a tap away? Merlin Bird ID is what you’re looking for. Nearly 1.5 million people have used Merlin as a bird identification tool for birds in the Americas—putting a name to your mystery bird from a photo or by answering five easy questions. Now, with the new Explore Birds feature, you can also generate Most Likely bird lists anywhere in the world. Download Merlin and see what birds are most likely at your favorite birding spot. Read on to learn more and see how it works.

Global Big Day—13 May 2017

It’s that time of year again! Four weeks from today is Global Big Day. Your contributions to the past two Global Big Days have set back-to-back world records for the most bird species seen in a single day. Last year’s Global Big Day featured more than 60% of the world’s bird species in a single day, with sightings coming in from more than 17,500 eBirders spread across 154 countries. Thank you for making this possible. Want to be a part of the fun again? If you need an excuse to go enjoy birds on a lovely weekend day in May, we’ve got you covered. Read more for some tips on maximizing your Global Big Day experience.

BirdCast Migration Forecast, 14-21 April

Do you ever wonder what migrant birds will be arriving soon in your local birding spots? Throughout the spring we’ll be featuring the BirdCast migration forecasts weekly to keep you up to date with what’s on deck for migration. The BirdCast forecasts highlight 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. All of these forecasts are generated with your eBird data, and wouldn’t be possible without eBirders like you! Although these forecasts are currently just for the continental US, as we get more sightings from the rest of the world we’ll be able to bring BirdCast to more parts of the world—here are four species from Europe this week. Read more to see what’s happening across the US in the coming days.

eBirder’s Urban Patch Hatches a Book

Where can your eBirding take you? For Heather Wolf, it helped lead to publishing a book on her patch and a job as an eBird developer! “I went on a little quest to find as many bird species as possible in my urban patch,” explains Heather Wolf, author of Birding at the Bridge: In Search of Every Bird on the Brooklyn Waterfront. Heather became a birder while living on Florida’s Gulf Coast where the antics of nesting shorebirds and terns were impossible to ignore. A rambunctious Least Tern prompted her to research the bird, and she’s been intrigued by birds ever since. “I was very fortunate to begin birding on the beach where it was easy to observe species and study their subtle differences. When I moved back to New York City, I wasn’t sure what to expect.” What Heather found was a local patch, Brooklyn Bridge Park, with not only views of the Manhattan skyline and the Statue of Liberty, but plenty of birds. “Once my eBird patch list started growing, I wanted the local community to know about the birds of their park, so I decided to take up bird photography and share the birds of Brooklyn Bridge Park on a blog.”