More eBird Tips

By Nick Anich July 20, 2015

Merlin by Tom Prestby.

Here are tips on three things that may help you out: Checklist Sharing, Adding Species to the Checklist, and Summarizing a Day List.

Advanced eBird users may already know about these functions, but if you’ve just joined eBird to help with the atlas, hopefully this mini tutorial should help you learn about additional features and tools.

Checklist Sharing

There are two ways to share a checklist with someone:

1. If that person was not birding with you and you just want to show them what you saw, the easiest way is to copy and paste the URL at the top of the screen just after you submit your checklist, which will look like:

You can send this in an email, or post it on social media to share your sightings with people who weren’t there.

2. If you were birding with a group of people, a single member of the group should enter the eBird checklist, and then they can use the Share function to send that checklist to other group members’ eBird accounts. You can access this by clicking “Share w/ Others in Your Party” on the top right of a checklist after you submit it.


You can also access this from your old checklists by going to Manage My Checklists on the My eBird tab. There is a share button next to each checklist on this list, or you can open up the checklist and share it from that button.

To use this Share function, simply enter the person’s email in the “To” field (or pick from the contact list on the right side) and hit the green “Share Checklist” button. The person will get an email about the checklist, and will have to accept the checklist while signed in to their eBird account. After the checklist has been accepted, they can then edit the checklist to reflect which birds they personally saw that day, if it differs from the group list.

Adding Species That Don’t Appear on the Regular Checklist

eBird Wisconsin volunteers have worked hard to try to make sure that the default checklists are accurate for your date and location. However, sometimes you see a species that doesn’t show up on the checklist when you go to enter data. This is most likely because it is a rare or locally uncommon species or you’re finding one slightly earlier or later than is normally expected.

Whenever you want to add a new species, the easiest thing to do is to click the big plus sign where is says “Add Species” at the top right of the checklist. A box will pop up at the top of the page. Start typing the species name into the box, and it should show up. This is also a way to add “slashes” (e.g., Cooper’s Hawk/Sharp-shinned Hawk) or “spuhs” (e.g., warbler sp.) that do not show up on the main checklist. Most of the commonly used slashes and spuhs should be on the default checklist, but there is a wide variety available on eBird if you want to use them to report something you are a little less confident on.


Another way to add a species to the checklist is clicking the “Show Rarities” button. This will pull up additional species that are rare species in your region. In most cases this list will probably have the species you are looking for, but in some cases it won’t and you’ll have to use the Add Species button.

Whenever you add a species to the checklist, it will ask you for more information because that species is unexpected for your date and location. Please take the time to make sure you fill out the comments box with an appropriate description to make sure your record is approved into the system. For more details on why this is important, read this article.

Creating a Day List

Suppose you entered checklists from 5 sublocations within your block today, and you’re wondering if you had enough Chestnut-sided Warblers to reach M (7+ singing males). There is a way in eBird to sum all the birds you had on a single day.

For this, you’ll have to leave Atlas eBird and head to regular, then click “Explore Data” and at the bottom of the page, go down to “Summary Tables – Your Data

Indicate you would like to create a week report starting on today’s date, and hit “Continue”.  It then asks which locations you want, so click the locations within your blocks you wish to sum (To select multiple locations, as you click the names, hold down the Ctrl key on a Windows computer or the Apple/Command key on a Macintosh computer). Hit “Continue”.

This produces a table that you should be able to use to determine the number of species and individuals you had at certain locations on a certain day. The “Species Totals” tab is the one you want to see how many individual Chestnut-sided Warblers you had today.

If you ever run into troubles using the Atlas eBird data entry system, just email us at, and we’ll get you pointed in the right direction.