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Birding in the 21st Century.

News and Features

2017 eBird taxonomy update—IN PROGRESS!

The annual eBird taxonomy update IS CURRENTLY UNDERWAY (Tuesday, 15 August). The process will continue for at least a couple days. We do this once a year to reflect the most recent changes in avian taxonomy: splits, lumps, name changes, and changes in the sequence of the species lists. You may notice some unusual behavior with your lists and other tools (see below), but this is nothing to worry about. The 2017 splits and lumps will be published very soon on this page. We will summarize these changes in an eBird story once the taxonomy update is complete.

10 Year Study Finds Sharp Decline in Black Terns – Possible Tie to Water Management in the Klamath Basin

Long-term monitoring efforts show that Black Tern declines in the Klamath Basin are higher than declines previously documented for continental and regional populations. The Klamath Basin is a region extending north and south along the Oregon and California border on the east-slope of the Cascade Range. The region is made up of a mixture of […]

eBird Android—automatically track your birding

eBird Mobile for Android took a big step forward this week: the ability to keep ‘tracks’ of where you eBird. Every time you start a checklist on eBird Android, you now have the option to keep a GPS track of where you walk for your traveling counts. The ‘tracks’ automatically calculate the distance traveled and time spent eBirding—all you have to do is watch birds! This is an important new chapter in eBird, opening the door for many exciting new future tools: improved research that can use the actual path you birded, eBird data outputs that can show the precise path of any given checklist, and much more. Plus, it makes your birding even easier. Try eBird Android today.

Change Species on your checklists

Have you ever uploaded a photo or audio recording to an eBird checklist, only to realize after the fact that it’s under the wrong species? Then you had to delete the photo from eBird, go back to your photo archive, and re-upload to the new species. Or if a reviewer notified you about an error on a checklist, just changing an observation could be a bit tricky as well—especially if you had notes, breeding codes, and age/sex information to move over to the new species. This all got a lot easier today: we are excited to announce a new and easy way to edit your checklists with the Change Species button on the checklist editing page. Go to “Manage My Checklists” and choose “Edit Species List” while viewing one of your eBird checklists to change any of your species.

August eBirder of the Month Challenge

This month’s eBirder of the Month challenge, sponsored by Carl Zeiss Sports Optics, encourages you to get our birding every day in one of the least-eBirded months of the year. The eBirder of the Month will be drawn from eBirders who submit 31 eligible checklists during August.  Winners will be notified by the 10th of the following month. August is an interesting time in much of the world, when the boreal breeding season is ending and spring is beginning to think about returning to the southern reaches of our planet. Many birds are wandering from their normal habitats, and there’s a lot for us to learn about where and when birds occur. Shorebird migration is in full swing across the northern hemisphere and many passerines begin their migration in August too. Let’s get out and see what we can find in August!

New full-hemisphere eBird animations

Everytime we go birding and submit an eBird checklist, we take a tiny snapshot of bird occurrence in space and time. eBird’s grand vision is to piece all these tiny snapshots together as a global tapestry of bird occurrence. This shared effort to illustrate bird occurrence begins to reveal the complex relationships of our birds to the environment and, as the seasons change, how birds flow around the planet in cycles of dispersal and migration. With this in mind, we are thrilled to share our 2017 STEM models, which are the product of several years of refinements and improvements over the classic eBird Occurrence Maps. STEM (Spatio-Temporal Exploratory Model) is a species distribution model that has been specifically developed for eBird data by statisticians and researchers at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

eBird Illustrated Checklists are here!

You can now view a digital bird guide for any hotspot or region in the world: an Illustrated Checklist. The best part? It’s all using sightings that you contributed! We take the highest-rated photo and sound from the Macaulay Library, combine with eBird data to show seasonal occurrence, and include the last date when a species was seen in that place. The result: a quick overview for the region that gives the most relevant information. Want your photo to be the best image for that region? Add them to your eBird checklists! To check out Illustrated Checklists, search for any region or search for any hotspot. At the top of the species list you’ll see a new tab titled “Illustrated Checklist”. Here’s an example.

What Type of Nest Came First?

During the spring and early summer it is not uncommon for birders to observe nesting behavior or even stumble upon a bird’s nest while walking around. Bird nests come in all shapes and sizes.  Some are simple, nothing more than a scrape in the sand, as for example those of many shorebirds and related species.  Other nests are more complex but, may provide more protection, such as a hanging woven pendant made by an oriole or a dome nest made by an American dipper or marsh wren.  Some species rely on others to build a nest for them, for example the ‘secondary cavity nesters’ such as chickadees, bluebirds, and some swallows that often use holes excavated by woodpeckers.  Many large birds, such as ospreys and great blue herons, build platform nests that can be easy to spot as they are often out in the open. By far the most common style of nest among songbirds is an open cup nest. In the Science News article Bird nest riddle: Which shape came first?, it is reported that today 70 percent of songbirds use open cup nests. But, it doesn’t seem to have always been this way.  Science News discusses the work of evolutionary biologists Jordan Price and Simon Griffith and while they don’t know what exactly drove the change, they have found that many families of old bird lineages built more complex, roofed structures as their nests and the more exposed open cup nest came later. Learn more and read the full Science News article here.

July eBirder of the Month Challenge

This month’s eBirder of the Month challenge, sponsored by Carl Zeiss Sports Optics, encourages you to share July birding with others. The eBirder of the Month will be drawn from eBirders who submit 15 eligible shared checklists during July. Each shared checklistthat you’re a part of gives you one chance to win. These lists may be shared with you from another person, or shared from you to someone else—the only thing is that all people on the shared checklist were birding together. These checklists must be entered, shared, and accepted by the last day of the month. Winners will be notified by the 10th of the following month. Although July is sometimes thought of as a ‘slow month’ for birding, there is actually a ton to learn, see, and share with friends. Read on to see some of the ways that we enjoy birding in July.

Bird Academy giveaway: How to Identify Bird Songs

As summer winds down across much of the Northern Hemisphere, there’s still a lot of bird song to be heard. Want to improve your audio birding skills? Or perhaps brush up on how to learn song before the austral summer? 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: in July, every eligible checklist that you submit gives you a chance to get free access to Be a Better Birder: How to Identify Bird Songs.