About

Global tools for Vermont birders, critical data for science and conservation

  • Record the birds you see
  • Keep track of your bird lists
  • Explore dynamic maps and graphs
  • Share your sightings and join the Vermont eBird community
  • Contribute to science and conservation

Overview

A real-time, online checklist program, eBird has revolutionized the way that the birding community reports and accesses information about birds. Launched in 2002 by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society, this year marks the 15 year anniversary of Vermont eBird, the first state portal for eBird.

In just a decade-and-a-half, the checklists that bird watchers have shared have helped make Vermont eBird, a project of the Vermont Atlas of Life, the largest citizen science biodiversity project in the state and around the world. Nearly 2,000 Vermont eBirders have submitted over 260,00 checklists, representing all 385 species of birds ever reported from Vermont. We’ve added nearly 26,000 images and over 1,200 sound recordings to Vermont checklists. And we join the more than 360,000 eBirders have submitted 472 million bird sightings, representing 10,364 species across every country in the world!

eBird’s goal is to maximize the utility and accessibility of the vast numbers of bird observations made each year by recreational and professional bird watchers. It is amassing one of the largest and fastest growing biodiversity data resources in existence. For example, in May 2015, participants reported more than 9.5 million bird observations across the world!

The observations of each participant join those of others in an international network of eBird users. eBird then shares these observations with a global community of educators, land managers, ornithologists, and conservation biologists. In time these data will become the foundation for a better understanding of bird distribution across the western hemisphere and beyond.

Birders at Lake Runnemede. / © Cindy Crawford

How Does it Work?

eBird documents the presence or absence of species, as well as bird abundance through checklist data. A simple and intuitive web-interface engages tens of thousands of participants to submit their observations or view results via interactive queries into the eBird database. eBird encourages users to participate by providing Internet tools that maintain their personal bird records and enable them to visualize data with interactive maps, graphs, and bar charts. All these features are available in English, Spanish, and French.

A birder simply enters when, where, and how they went birding, then fills out a checklist of all the birds seen and heard during the outing. eBird provides various options for data gathering including point counts, transects, and area searches. Automated data quality filters developed by regional bird experts review all submissions before they enter the database. Local experts review unusual records that are flagged by the filters.

We’d like to thank the volunteer experts that help us keep Vermont eBird data strong – Zac CotaSue Elliott, Spencer Hardy, Kyle Jones, Kent McFarland, Craig Provost, and Ian Worley. Every record entered into eBird is checked for accuracy, first by automated filters that flag unusual records, and then by expert reviewers who devote their personal time to ensure that your lists and the eBird database are as accurate as possible. Additionally, Kent McFarland, Ron Payne, and Ian Worley are hotspot editors for Vermont. If you run into them while out birding, let them know you are thankful for their hard work and contribution behind the scenes at Vermont eBird.

Data Accessibility

eBird data are stored in a secure facility and archived daily, and are accessible to anyone via the eBird web site and other applications developed by the global biodiversity information community. For example, eBird feeds data to international biodiversity data systems, such as the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF). In this way any contribution made to eBird increases our understanding of the distribution, richness, and uniqueness of the biodiversity of our planet.

eBird data is a free resource to anyone via our Data Download page, accessed via Explore Data. This is not to be understated, since these data downloads make much of the above possible and set eBird apart with its revolutionary open data access. More than 60,000 people have downloaded raw eBird data for analysis, with more than 2,000,000 visitors to the eBird website in 2016 to contribute and explore data.