Data entry is streamlined for the third atlas with the use of eBird. Entering data through eBird is quick, easy, and allows us to track progress in real time!
If you don’t already have a free eBird account, go to ebird.org and click on the green “Create Account” button on the top of the screen. Then check out the free eBird Essentials course to get started.
The fastest and easiest way to submit your data is through the eBird mobile app. If you prefer to take written notes in the field and then enter them on the website, we ask that you submit your observations as soon as possible. This will allow other atlasers to track progress in each block. If you need assistance submitting data, contact us so we can set you up with a data entry partner.
All atlas data should be entered through the “New York Bird Atlas” portal. eBird uses portals to tailor the user experience around a particular project. Having a portal for the NY BBA III allows us to display atlas-specific data, such as the atlas blocks and breeding codes observed for each species in a block. If you want your data to show up on the atlas maps, you need to enter it in the atlas portal.
The rule of thumb is:
If you have a breeding code on your checklist, enter it through the “New York Bird Atlas” portal. If you don’t have a breeding code on your checklist, enter it in the core “eBird” portal.
The one exception is if you go atlasing at night for owls, nightjars, or other nocturnal species and don’t encounter any birds; in this situation, you may have zero birds and zero breeding codes.
During the summer months, it’s likely that all of your checklists will contain a breeding code since you will be looking for such behaviors. If you use the mobile App, you can safely keep the portal set to the atlas portal from roughly May through August.
Don’t worry if you go birding and enter your checklist in the wrong portal. You can change it later. See the Changing Portals section below.
The atlas is organized around blocks. Accordingly, checklists should only contain birds encountered within a single block. If there are no existing hotspots where you go birding, create a new personal location (long press on your phone). If you are birding at an existing hotspot and it covers multiple blocks, consider creating personal locations for each block and include the name of the block when you name the location. For example, if you are birding at Montezuma NWR, make sure that you submit separate checklists for each block you survey. Remember, the more specific you can be with location, the more useful your data will be for analysis.
If you aren’t sure which portal your checklist is in, open your checklist. In the top left corner of the page, look at the logo.
All breeding bird observations should be submitted through the NY BBA III portal in eBird. This makes your observations available to the Atlas so they show up on the effort maps. If you enter a checklist in the wrong portal, you can change it by going to the checklist on the web. In “My eBird” go to “Manage My Checklists” on the right-hand side of the page. Find the checklist you want to switch and then select “View or Edit”. Go to “Checklist Tools” in the top right of the screen and select “Change Portal”. Use the drop-down menu to change the portal.
Sometimes you will want to add a photo or sound recording of a bird, particularly if you observe a rare or unusual species. If you add a stunning photo of a breeding bird, it may even show up on the front page of the atlas website! Adding media is easy with eBird’s new media tool. Follow the steps below. See the eBird help page for more details.