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Birding in the 21st Century.

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Rusty Blackbird Spring Blitz Opens Saturday for Vermont

A male Rusty Blackbird in spring.

Have you seen a flash of rust-tipped feathers under a bright yellow eye? Or perhaps you’ve enjoyed the dubiously melodious sound of a squeaky-hinge song? Previously a common sight in mixed-blackbird flocks and flooded forests, Rusty Blackbirds now face an unfortunate and remarkable notoriety; this species has endured a decline more severe than any other [...]

New eBird publication highlights a novel approach to citizen science

STEM species distribution model for Purple Finch (Haemorhous purpureus) based on ERD data. Darker red indicates higher probability of finding a Purple Finch (Max = 80%). Note population-level differences in migration, with the eastern/boreal population (H. p. purpureus) migrating and wintering through the East and Southeast, whereas the western population (H. p. californicus) is largely resident, showing little seasonal change in distribution.

Birders are the engine behind what we now think of as the “eBird Enterprise”, a global project with high conservation significance that has collected more than 150 million bird records from across the planet. A new publication in the journal Biological Conservation highlights how eBird has evolved from a basic citizen-science project into a collective enterprise, taking [...]

Champions Crowned for 3rd Annual Vermont County Bird Quest

Locations of the 2013 Vermont eBird Checklist sites. Only three towns were not visited by Vermont eBirders in 2013.

From the drop of the ball on January 1st to the stare from the yellow eyes of a Snowy Owl on December 31st, hundreds of Vermont birders scoured fields and fens, mountains and meadows, lakes and lawns to discover as many species as possible during a single calendar year. The 3rd annual Vermont County Birding Quest pitted [...]

Tips for counting BIG flocks

Counting. Photo by Ron Payne

Have you ever seen a big group of blackbirds in a large tree and estimated, say, 300-400 … only to have clearly 200 or more fly out of the tree, and it looks like nobody left?  And then another couple hundred leave, and it still looks the same?  Well, there are ways to get a [...]

New Checklist Option Deals with Old Misconception

You can now set your checklist comments to public on your Preferences page.

Have you ever made a comment on a checklist about your outing?  Perhaps you noted you were observing from a kayak, or the day was dark and rainy, or nearby construction noise was very loud, or you were accompanied by David Sibley.  Did you realize when you used the “Comments” box at the beginning of [...]

Little Brown Birds of Confusion

Sparrow Timing

Autumn migration gives us many opportunities for interesting sightings, discoveries, and challenging identifications.  Moreover, the eagerness to see a particular species can get in the way of good observations. One example is Lincoln’s Sparrow, whose northern boreal distribution extends down into our Northeast Kingdom and on a few ski slopes such as Stratton Mountain.  However, Lincoln’s [...]

An eBirder’s 251 Town Birding Project Nears Halfway Point

Visit Bob's web page to follow his march on the map to 251 towns with Vermont eBird checklists.

Seeing the success of 2011′s County Challenge sparked a discussion between Bob Heitzman and Kent McFarland about how one might fill in the blanks in the Vermont eBird map. Bob had suggested a challenge based on the “251 Club”, an organization that had sprung up during Vermont’s bicentennial. After a little over a year Bob [...]

The Breeding Bird Atlas is Never Complete at Vermont eBird!

The Second Atlas of the Breeding Birds of Vermont is now available to purchase.

The Second Atlas of the Breeding Birds of Vermont (2003-2007) was an amazing effort by the birding community. Many of us searched the state to document breeding bird species. The atlas collected important conservation information and it was a lot of fun. Many of us miss it! But with Vermont eBird, the atlas never ends! We want [...]