eBirders have now entered 1/3 billion bird records

By Team eBird June 22, 2016

On June 17, eBird crossed a big milestone: a third of a billion bird sightings—contributed by 316,586 eBirders across every country in the world. Record #333,333,333 was added by Mike Madsen: an everyday sighting of a Song Sparrow in DuPage County, Illinois. See the checklist here, complete with excellent breeding codes! This milestone is much more than a number: it is a real testament to what is possible when we work together as a global birding community. The birds that you see and report make a genuine difference in our shared global understanding of bird populations and abundance. By providing an outlet for people’s avian interests, those of us at eBird and the Cornell Lab strive to provide a place to encourage and support those who share our passion for birds and the natural world. Everything that we do is powered by the loyal eBird community: anyone who has ever entered an eBird checklist has made a valuable contribution. Thank you. eBirders entered 11.8 million bird sightings in May 2016, more than in the first five years of eBird’s existence. If you haven’t yet entered records in eBird, here’s how you can join the fun! May was our first month over 10 million observations—check out the chart below for more details!

Click on image to see larger version

Click on image to see larger version

eBird growth began to really take off in the early 2010s, where a 20-30% annual growth rate has continued apace for a half-decade. As more people use eBird’s tools and resources to help their birding endeavors, they become more useful to those who want to use them. This positive-feedback cycle is great news for anyone who uses eBird sightings because as interest and participation continues to grow so does the the quality of resources provided. To date, eBird data have been used in well over 100 publications (please let us know if you’ve published using eBird data and your work isn’t there!), as well as numerous on-the-ground conservation applications, and of course to help millions of birders find birds around home or abroad. Thanks to all who contribute to the eBird enterprise, and we look forward to 500 million sightings!


We’re also excited to have a big milestone in our Macaulay Library integration—where we surpassed 1,000,000 images uploaded in less than 9 months! Learn more here.

Merlin, the Cornell Lab’s flagship identification app, has also hit a million milestone: 1,000,000 users! If you haven’t used Merlin, we suggest that you check it out, and learn how to identify birds like never before. We also have ways that you can help expand Merlin’s coverage globally—learn more here!