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Birding in the 21st Century.

News and Features

Due Diligence with Vermont Dowitchers

Short-billed Dowitcher (Limnodromus griseus) / K.P. McFarland

Wouldn’t it be nice if bird names always told how to ID a bird?  Imagine a world where Red-bellied Woodpeckers had flashy red bellies, Ring-necked Ducks had a neck ring that was as visible, Spotted Sandpipers had spots all year round, Winter Wrens were here in the winter, Little Blue Herons were always blue, and […]

A Half a Billion Biodiversity Records

Recently, eBird updated the data we share and publish through the Global Biodiversity Facility (GBIF), an international infrastructure that provides open access to biodiversity data. One result of this refresh is that data accessible through GBIF’s network now exceeds 500 million records—a true milestone for access to biodiversity information. This short article explains how data […]

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 […]

Taxonomy update for 2014

For American birders, large rail splits are most likely to give Life Lists a boost in this revision. Be careful reporting Clapper Rail: it should only be used for East Coast and Gulf Coast birds now! Photo of Clapper Rail in Massachusetts by Ryan Schain.

The taxonomic update for 2014 is now complete in eBird. The names and sequence have been changed and eBird records have been updated in cases of splits and lumps. This update includes taxonomic revisions introduced (or accepted) since August 2013 by the two committees of the American Ornithologists’ Union, the  North American Classification Committee (NACC) […]

eBird Preferences – species names, Top 100 and more

Robin nest

On the  top left of most eBird pages is a little link that you may not have noticed – Preferences. This is where you can customize how species names appear in eBird – whether you want Common Names, Scientific Names, or both. The default English names follow the Clements Checklist, but you can change the Common […]

eBirders Encouraged to eButterfly

Butterflying in the Green Mountain State.

When the day turns warm and the birds grow quiet, many eBirders point their binoculars  toward butterflies. Now, they have a tool to track their sightings. Introducing e-Butterfly. A small team of biologists from the U.S. and Canada has launched e-Butterfly.org, which allows scientists and butterfly watchers to report, store, organize and view vast amounts […]

New study uses eBird data to define migration flyways for terrestrial birds

Red-eyed Vireo. Photo by K.P. McFarland

In one of the greatest feats of endurance in the biological world, millions of tiny songbirds—many weighing less than an ounce—migrate thousands of miles to Central and South America each year. Now scientists are finding out how these featherweights do it: using elliptical routes that take advantage of prevailing wind patterns to save calories. “Most […]

Bicknell’s & Gray-cheeked Thushes – How to submit to eBird

Bicknell's Thrush on a nest on Stratton Mountain. Photo by K.P. McFarland

Have you made the trek to a Vermont mountaintop to hear and see our signature montane bird, the Bicknell’s Thrush?  Many birders have, and upon hearing it’s distinctive song, submit their record to Vermont eBird.  Seen a Gray-cheeked Thrush in Vermont? Likely not, as it does not breed here and it is such a rare, passing-through migrant […]

Golden & Blue-winged Warbler Potpourri – How to submit to eBird

Golden-winged Warbler (mostly) (Vermivora chrysoptera). Photo by K.P. McFarland

Coming from a leafy shrub is the pure song of a Blue-winged Warbler, just as it sounds on your smart phone app.  Searching for the songster, you find the singing bird but it definitely not the coloration of the Blue-winged in your field guide.  Yikes!  What to do? The so-called “winged warblers” are a complex […]

Mountain Birdwatch Needs Your Help

View from Hurricane Mountain, NY.

Do you enjoy hiking, and would you like to use your birding skills to support conservation? Mountain Birdwatch is a long-term monitoring program for Bicknell’s Thrush and other high-elevation forest birds, and we seek volunteers to conduct a dawn surveys  this June. Wake up to a Bicknell’s Thrush serenade, delight in frenetic Winter Wren song, […]