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Birding in the 21st Century.

News and Features

North Branch Nature Center BirdFest May 28th

Yellow Warbler singing. © Larry Clarfeld.

Join the North Branch Nature Center on May 28th for BirdFest, they’re 5th annual celebration of birds! The event kicks off with bird walks beginning at 7:00 am, and features workshops, live raptors, kids activities, a bird banding demo, bird house building, a photo contest, and more! Its free for kids and Montpelier residents and just $15 for non-members, $10 for members. See the BirdFest website for a full schedule, workshop descriptions, and information on submitting your awesome shot to the photo contest,

Introducing the eBird Media Search

Black-bellied Plover by Ian Davies

We are excited release eBird/Macaulay Library Media Search, a tool for exploring photos and sounds uploaded through eBird, as well as the full collection of bird sounds and video archived in the Macaulay Library through traditional methods. With more than half a million images and thousands of audio files uploaded to eBird over the past five months there is plenty to explore! This initial version of Media Search is focused on providing results for species, date range, and location combinations, while subsequent development will focus on increasing the metadata associated with uploaded media, and building out advanced search capabilities. We hope these tools provide an exciting environment to explore the contributions of others, and also to increase the public visibility of your own efforts. Take the new Media Search tool for a test drive right now!

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), a project of the Vermont Atlas of Life, 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 you to keep documenting the nesting status of the birds you are finding. Read more and learn how you can make your Vermont eBird sightings even more valuable by adding breeding information.

New eBook: The Birds of Hinsdale Setbacks and Bluffs, New Hampshire

Hinsdale Setbacks looking north from the Powerline Berm Trail. / © Hector Galbraith

Hector Galbraith, a venerable birder and ornithologist, examined a myriad of old documents dating to the early 1900s, as well as more recent and ongoing eBird datasets, to summarize avian occurrence, abundance and seasonality in his new ebook – The Birds of Hinsdale Setbacks and Bluffs, New Hampshire. Situated on the Connecticut River at the intersection of three states, Hinsdale Setbacks and Bluffs comprise one of the premier inland birding sites in New England. Read more…

eBirding Around Sensitive Species

Northern Goshawk protecting its nest.

It’s that time of year when we are apt to find some amazing nesting birds – from Bald Eagles to Long-eared Owls, and later in the season Common Terns or a rare songbird. So what steps should we take to avoid disturbing nest sites and sensitive species in general? And how does that relate to reporting these birds to Vermont eBird? It’s up to each and every individual birder to ensure that they behave themselves in the field. Learn how you can best report sensitive species on eBird…

March eBirder of the Month Challenge

EBM 032016 featured image

This month’s eBirder of the month challenge, sponsored by Carl Zeiss Sports Optics, focuses on exploring new areas. eBirders have entered sightings from more than 3 million locations across every country in the world. Even though that sounds like a big number, there is still a lot we have yet to learn, and a lot of areas where we have very little information! In March we’re encouraging you to explore, and fill some of those knowledge gaps. The eBirder of the month will be drawn from eBirders who submit 1 or more complete no-X checklists in March from at least 15 locations new to your eBird account. This means a total of 15 lists is required as a minimum. These locations can be hotspots or any kind of location, they just have new in your specific eBird account. Winners will be notified by the 10th of the following month.

February eBirder of the Month Challenge


This month’s eBirder of the month challenge, sponsored by Carl Zeiss Sports Optics, focuses on the mobile world. As of December 2015, eBird Mobile is available for FREE on both iOS and Android devices. eBird Mobile makes in-the-field data entry just a few taps away, no matter where you are in the world. Increased use of mobile provides greatly improved accuracy in counting, precise location selection, and overall birding effort information. And, no more data entry when you get home at the end of the day! The eBirder of the month will be drawn from eBirders who submit at least 15 complete no-X checklists using eBird Mobile in February. Winners will be notified by the 10th of the following month.

Best Practices for Entering Your Yard Sightings in eBird

Recording yard birds on a cold and windy day. / K.P. McFarland

Many birders do a lot of their birding at home, especially at this time of year. We can easily be distracted by other things – phone calls, chores, family members, or even a sudden hockey goal or touchdown. One of our most frequently asked questions is how best to report checklists of birds noticed in discontinuous chunks of time throughout the day in your yard and around the bird feeders. Learn how you can make your observations count!

January eBirder of the Month Challenge

snow bunting

This month’s eBirder of the month challenge, sponsored by Carl Zeiss Sports Optics, encourages you to get out there in this new year and see what you can find! In order to qualify as the first eBirder of the month in 2016, all you have to do is submit an average of one qualifying eBird checklist for each day in January. Our goal is to motivate people to go out at the beginning of the year (perhaps as part of a New Year’s Resolution!) and eBird what you find. The more eyes looking, the merrier. The eBirder of the month will be drawn from eBirders who submit at least 31 complete no-X checklists in January. Winners will be notified by the 10th of the following month.

Make eBird your New Year’s Resolution for 2016

Long-eared Owl from the Plainfield Christmas Bird Count.

Since its inception 14 years ago, Vermont eBird has grown in leaps and bounds from thanks to the dedication of Vermont bird watchers. We hear from many birders each year who tell us how Vermont eBird has changed their birding habits for the better, has taught them about bird biogeography and phenology, has helped them learn more about birds, and has made their birding more fun. We also hear from many who say that they want to submit to Vermont eBird more often or that they “keep meaning to get started” but have yet to “take the plunge.” Together, let’s make 2016 the year without regret! Make your New Year’s resolution to use Vermont eBird! With the advent of new mobile technology and a continually refined data entry process, Vermont eBird is easier to use than ever. Give it a try today, for yourself, for birders everywhere, and for the birds we all care about.