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Want a free birding trip to Trinidad & Tobago?

Purple Gallinule by Jerome Foster/Macaulay Library.

You’re in North America, it’s early 2017, and winter is everywhere. Bird song is nothing but a distant memory, and you yearn for warmth. Wouldn’t you rather be in Trinidad and Tobago? If you eBird, you could be—for free! We’re very happy to announce an exciting opportunity for a lucky eBirder and friend: two nights at the Asa Wright Nature Centre; complimentary roundtrip airfares for 2 people on JetBlue from either JFK (New York) or Fort Lauderdale, FL; and guided tours on the ground in Trinidad and Tobago. Thanks to the Asa Wright Nature Centre, JetBlue, and the Trinidad and Tobago Tourism Board for their generous sponsorship. A lucky eBirder will be drawn randomly from among all eligible checklists submitted between Sept 15-Oct 31 2016. More lists, more chances to win. The winner will be notified by November 10.

eBird Mobile 1.3: breeding and behavior codes

Common Potoo—NY breeding code. Photo by Jose Luis Navarro/Macaulay Library

A new version of eBird Mobile (1.3) has just been released that lets you note breeding and behavior codes in your mobile checklists—available for free on both iOS and Android. This lets you track breeding bird activity more easily than ever before, and also lets you log flyover codes—which could win you a pair of binoculars this month! If you’ve never tried eBird Mobile, there has never been a better time to get started. More than 110,000 eBirders have used eBird Mobile so far, replacing the field notebook as the easiest and most accurate way to record your bird sightings in the field. Learn how to get started with eBird Mobile. This latest version also provides the technical foundation that will allow us to build in automatic tracking of distance within the app, sharing of checklists, and many other features that we want and plan to build into eBird Mobile. Every step is bringing us closer to having the full eBird website on your mobile device!

Explore and share your birding with eBird Profile Pages!

eBird Profile Featured Image

320,000 eBirders and growing… You’ve looked through eBird checklists and seen their names: kindred birding spirits whose sightings you may have glimpsed only once, or followed regularly over months and years. Now, you can find out who the people are behind these names by exploring eBird’s new Profile Pages! Whether you’re a backyard birder or a globe-trotting world lister, eBird Profile Pages allow you to share your birding story with friends and the entire eBird community. This first version of your public eBird dashboard focuses on showcasing your eBird/Macaulay Library activity with tools that visualize all your sightings and highlight your recent media contributions—all updated with each new eBird contribution. We hope these Profile Pages provide a fun new way to visualize the contributions you’ve made to eBird and the Macaulay Library, inspire you to ‘fill in the gaps’ in your profile maps, and allow you to get to know other eBirders by exploring their Profile Pages. Enjoy meeting the global eBird community, and set up your eBird Profile Page today!

September eBirder of the Month Challenge

Osprey by Geoffrey Groom/Macaulay Library

This month’s eBirder of the month challenge, sponsored by Carl Zeiss Sports Optics, will keep your binoculars pointed towards the sky. As the seasons turn over in September, the movement of birds begins perhaps the best part of a birder’s year: migration. Whether you’re north of the equator for fall, or enjoying an austral spring, things are happening! Migratory restlessness may result in local movements of 10s of kilometers, or something as drastic as undertaking herculean journeys that take shorebirds from the Arctic to the edge of the southern continents. The most amazing part of all of this is that you can witness it, wherever you are. The eBirder of the month will be drawn from eBirders who submit 15 or more eligible checklists in September containing at least one “Flyover” code. Checklists must be for observations during this month; not historical checklists entered during September. Winners will be notified by the 10th of the following month.

Myth-busting the VABBA2: Tackling Atlas Blocks with Teamwork

'Blue-gray Gnatcatcher Parents' by Nancy Barnhart (Fantastic example of a confirmed breeder using ON, Occupied Nest)

If you’re involved in several large-scale birding citizen science projects these days, e.g. Breeding Bird Surveys, Project Nestwatch, Project Feederwatch, or the VABBA2, it’s easy to get confused about protocols and methods. They’re all different! This article is intended to provide additional guidance on how to survey an atlas block. Let’s start with some myths […]

Virginia Breeding Bird Atlas 2 Data Entry Round 1 – Recording Incidental Observations

Atlas Data Entry Round 1: Incidental Observations* We will be posting a series of tutorials walking you through the process for submitting your bird observations for the second Virginia Breeding Bird Atlas. Note: You can reach the Virginia Breeding Bird Atlas 2 eBird portal by clicking the VABBA2 button in the above menu. For this first […]

VSO American Kestrel Nest Box Project Update

Innisfree Village Albemarle Co.

In 2014 the Virginia Society of Ornithology undertook a project to erect kestrel nest boxes throughout the state, and to educate landowners on ways to enhance kestrel habitat.  Materials for the project are funded through private donations, and the work carried out by volunteers.  To date (Feb. 2016) the project team has 235 boxes in […]

Virginia Society of Ornithology comment on Black Vulture legislation SB 37

VSO-Black-Vultures-©-Arun-K-Bose

Update: On February 3, 2016 SB 37 was referred by the VA House of Delegates to Committee on Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources On January 26, 2016 the VSO Board and Officers sent letters Virginia Governor McAuliffe and Virginia Senate’s Agriculture, Conservation, and Natural Resources Committee. While the substitute legislation is a considerable improvement over […]

Launch of the 2nd Virginia Breeding Bird Atlas is fast approaching!

Red-headed Woodpecker Adults and Juvenile. © Brent Slaughter

The launch of the 2nd Virginia Breeding Bird Atlas is fast approaching. This spring will mark the start of a five-year effort to document all of the bird species breeding in Virginia. The VABBA2 needs volunteers from Virginia’s birding community to hit the field and start collecting breeding data this Spring. Please check out the […]

Gull Notes

Field readable band on Ring-billed Gull

Ring-billed Gulls Late fall through winter and early spring months in Virginia and the Mid-Atlantic region can be rewarding for gull watching. Ring-billed Gulls are common winter birds in the area, but where do they “come” from? Two recent sightings of banded gulls provide vital clues as to the season movements and site fidelity to […]