Thank you to everyone who has shared their eBird stories. If you have an eBird story to share, please let us know and you may be featured in this series.
My eBird story by Diego Guerrero-Lara
My name is Diego Guerrero-Lara, I am from Mexico and I study biology in the State of Morelos. I live in the municipality of Cuautla, where I am a local coordinator of the Urban Bird Program (CONABIO) and it is in this municipality where we conduct outreach and birding activities.
About two years ago I started leading birding tours with a citizen science group with only six members. In the beginning the vast majority of them did not know much about birds and much less about how to use field guides or bird identification, but that did not take away their enthusiasm to learn and participate in more field trips in the city. After a while we decided to do a small workshop in which topics such as the basic ethics of birding, species identification, and the use of digital tools such as eBird and Merlin were discussed. Once we finished this workshop, we went to the Amatlán, a community in the municipality of Tepoztlán, so they could practice what they learned. On the field trip, participants used the Merlin Bird ID; an app that allows you to choose the colors, size, and location where the bird was observed to help identify the species. After birding I uploaded the data to eBird and shared the list with the birding group—that field trip was a very good learning experience for everyone.
Most of the members in the birding group continue to use Merlin Bird ID to identify more species on their own. They have learned more about birds by reading the Merlin Bird ID species accounts. In addition, some members of the group have created accounts on the iNaturalist platform to upload their observations.
In addition, through the Urban Birds Program we have been able to engage youth scout groups in activities focused on native fauna. In the future we hope to include them in birding trips, teach them to use eBird and Merlin Bird ID so they can identify the different birds they observe on their own.
By doing this we can increase the number of birders in the community, which also helps generate more data on distribution and abundance of different species.