Submitting Data

Submit Your Atlas Data with eBird!

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.

When to Use the Atlas Portal
Submitting Data Using the Mobile App
Submitting Data on a Computer Using a Web Browser
Blocks and Hotspots
Checking the Portal
Changing Portals
Adding Media Files

When to Use the Atlas Portal

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.

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Submitting Data Using the Mobile App

  1. Set the portal. Change the eBird portal to “New York Bird Atlas.” On the app home screen, tap the menu icon (Android) or more button (iOS) and then go to “Settings.” Select the “Portal” option and use the drop-down list to select the “New York Bird Atlas” portal. Return to your home screen.

    How to change the portal

  2. Start a checklist. Start a checklist and set your location. Record your track if you have GPS signal. Make sure that when you are birding you do not cross block boundaries. If you do, start a new checklist. Bring a PDF of the block in the field with you or use the Google Earth app to determine if you are within block boundaries.
  3. Enter species and breeding codes. Enter a count of all the birds you see and hear and record the highest breeding code for each species.

    How to enter breeding codes

  4. Review and submit. Make sure to answer the question about whether you are submitting a complete checklist. Remember that complete doesn’t mean that all the birds in the area are recorded; it only means that all the birds you were able to identify are reported. So if you are entering all the starlings and pigeons you saw, you can say your checklist is complete.

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Submitting Data on a Computer Using a Web Browser

  1. Use the atlas website. On the atlas website, click on “Submit” from the top menu: https://ebird.org/atlasny/submit.
  2. Start a checklist. Log in and start a new checklist. Set location, date, and time as you normally would. The block boundaries are visible on the map so you can review where you went and enter data from within a single block.
  3. Enter species and breeding codes. Enter a count of all the birds you saw and heard. Record the highest breeding code for each species. Click on the “Add Details” button and use the breeding code drop-down menu to select the appropriate code.
  4. Review and submit. Review your data. Make sure to answer the question about whether you are submitting a complete checklist. Remember that complete doesn’t mean that all the birds in the area are recorded; it only means that all the birds you were able to identify are reported. So if you are entering all the starlings and pigeons you saw, you can say your checklist is complete.

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Blocks and Hotspots

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.

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Checking the Portal

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.

If you see this logo, your checklist is in the atlas portal.

If you see this logo, your checklist is in the general eBird portal.

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Changing Portals

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.

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Adding Media Files

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.

  1. Go to your eBird checklist containing the observation for which you want to add media files.
  2. Click “Add Media” in the top right of any checklist to begin adding media, or click “Manage Media” if you already have some media on that checklist.
  3. Upload media by clicking “Add Media” for that observation or drag and drop the file onto the observation.
  4. Use the sidebar on the right to add ratings, comments, behaviors, background species, and more.
  5. Add up to 10 files per species.
  6. When you are finished, click “Done” in the top right to return to the checklist.

 

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