How to Enter Data

It is preferred that you submit your observations via the ISS portal or via the eBird mobile app. Below you fill find instructions on how to use the eBird portal and the eBird mobile app to submit your observations, as well as instructions on how to change the portals of already entered checklists. If you have any questions please contact Evan Dalton (

Submission Through the ISS eBird Portal

To submit your data through the ISS eBird portal you first need to log in to your eBird account at From the home page you can find the ISS portal through the “Regional Portals” link on the right-hand side. You’ll find a link called “International Shorebird Survey eBird” at the bottom of the portals page. You can also shortcut this route by entering into your browser.

NOTE: Make sure that you only enter ISS checklists into this portal. It is very easy to log into eBird and overlook the fact that you are in the ISS portal (the ISS portal will always have “/ISS/” as part of the URL and the small eBird logo in the page banner will have a very small “ISS” next to it). Bookmarking the ISS portal and normal eBird may help you keep the two sites separate.

Click the “Submit Observations” tab and enter your location. If you have entered other checklists from the same locations, the location should show up in the dropdown menu. If not you can use the “find it on a map” option to pinpoint your location on a map. If your site is the same as an eBird hotspot, please select the hotspot as your location.


Data Entry 1

Under Observation Type select either “Traveling” or “Stationary”; the other options do not apply to ISS Surveys! Fill in the timing and distance data and use the comments box to include information on tide/water level, other birders you were with, disturbances or any other relevant information.


Data Entry 2


Use the next page to enter the number of each bird species you saw. When you enter numbers for a species, you can add comments. This is the place to enter whether you have an exact count or if you were estimating the size of a flock.

We suggest you enter numbers for all the species you saw, including non-shorebirds. If you do this you can check “yes” when eBird asks if you are submitting a complete checklist. If you decide to include only the shorebirds you saw, check “no” for the complete checklist question.

Data Entry 3

Once you’ve entered your checklist, click “submit”. Thanks for your data! Remember to leave the ISS portal if you want to enter any other non-ISS checklists!


Using the eBird mobile app to enter your ISS data.

Using the eBird app to enter your checklists is super convenient; you can enter the numbers in real-time and submit checklists without the need for a computer. The app will even keep track of your duration! In the past, if you entered ISS data through the mobile app, you had to change the portal using a computer (instructions on how to do this below). Now you have the option of changing portals on the app! To change portals, just tap the gear in the bottom right of the start screen. You’ll see a dropdown menu for “portal”. Scroll down on this menu and tap “ISS eBird”. Now any checklist you initiate with this as your portal will be tagged as ISS data. Once you submit your ISS checklist(s), make sure you change the portal back to “Primary”/normal eBird or your regularly preferred portal. If you don’t, you may need to manually move your checklist to the correct portal…

Changing Portals in eBird

Did you accidentally enter an ISS checklist into normal eBird? Have you submitted non-ISS checklists through the ISS portal? Perhaps you did this through the eBird mobile app, or you didn’t notice what portal you were in when you entered your checklist. If you have entered anything erroneously, no problem! Once found, it is super easy to change portals for your checklists.

To figure out what portal your checklists were entered under click the “Manage My Checklists” link on the “My eBird” page. Here you’ll see every checklist you have ever submitted. Click on the “View or edit” button for the checklist you want to change.

Data Entry 4

The checklist below has been entered through the ISS portal erroneously! You can tell the checklist is tagged as ISS because of the small “ISS” in the banner and the “/iss/” in the URL.

Data Entry 5

Fortunately, you can change the portal by clicking the “Change Portal” button in the lower right and selecting the correct portal for the checklist from the dropdown menu. Once you select the right portal from the dropdown menu click  the green “Change Portal” button and you’re done!

Data Entry 6

NOTE: Don’t know what checklists you entered as ISS? If you click “View or edit” for your newest checklist, you can use the “Older”/ “Newer” buttons on the upper right to quickly scroll through your checklists looking for any wrongly entered checklists.