This month’s eBirder of the Month Challenge, sponsored by Carl Zeiss Sports Optics, is all about birding with others. This could be a day in the field with a long-time birding friend with whom you've been checking a local patch for 30 years, or getting out with someone who is just starting. It could be with an existing eBirder or an interested birder who hasn't started eBirding yet. The eBirder of the Month will be drawn from eBirders who submit 15 eligible shared checklists during February. Each shared checklist that you’re a part of gives you one chance to win. These lists could be shared with you from another person or shared from you to someone else—the only requirement is that all people on the shared checklist were a part of the birding event. These checklists must be entered, shared, and accepted by the last day of the month in order to qualify for the drawing. Winners will be notified by the 10th of the following month.
We hope that you can use this checklist sharing challenge as motivation to get out in the field with fellow birders. Introduce someone to eBird. Bring someone out for a morning during the Great Backyard Bird Count. Take a walk at the local park with your kids, or post on your local birding email list or Facebook group to see if someone wants to go see what's around at a nearby hotspot. Reconnect with an old birding buddy. Go out and have a good time!
There are millions of people around the world united by our shared interest in birds. Although eBird is a fundamentally a database of bird sightings, we believe that it is much more. It is a way to have our personal passion for birds feed not just our own satisfaction, but also to give back to the birds by providing knowledge for science and conservation efforts. There are over 375,000 people who have used eBird to log their sightings so far, reporting birds from every country in the world.
Some people see eBird as a way of life and submit multiple checklists every day. Others may submit an occasional checklist from their yard, and that is wonderful too. All sightings matter—any bird, anywhere, anytime. We feel that one of the great things about eBird is the variety of people to whom it appeals. We hope you enjoy it as well, and that you use this month's challenge to share your appreciation with others.
Each month we will feature a new eBird challenge and set of selection criteria. The monthly winners will each receive a new ZEISS Conquest HD 8×42 binocular.
Carl Zeiss Sports Optics is a proven leader in sports optics and is the official optics sponsor for eBird. “Carl Zeiss feels strongly that by partnering with the Cornell Lab we can provide meaningful support for their ability to carry out their research, conservation, and education work around the world,” says Mike Jensen, President of Carl Zeiss Sports Optics, North America. “The Cornell Lab is making a difference for birds, and from the highest levels of our company we’re committed to promoting birding and the Lab’s work, so there’s a great collaboration. eBird is a truly unique and synergistic portal between the Lab and birders, and we welcome the opportunity to support them both.”