Ed Corey, February eBirder of the Month

By Team eBird 11 Mar 2016

Please join us in congratulating Ed Corey of Raleigh, North Carolina, winner of the February 2016 eBird Challenge, sponsored by Carl Zeiss Sports Optic. Our February winner was drawn from among those who submitted at least 15 eligible checklists using eBird Mobile in February. Ed’s name was drawn randomly from the 2,427 eBirders who achieved the February challenge threshold. Ed will receive new ZEISS Conquest HD 8×42 binoculars for his eBirding efforts. We asked Ed to tell us a little more about himself, his use of eBird, and his love of birds – read on for more!

“My name is Ed Corey, and I’m an eBirder.”  They say the first step to recovery is accepting it, right?  For roughly the past 10 years, I’ve enjoyed tracking my progress as a birder, chasing rare birds and logging my lifelist.  Challenging myself from year to year, county to county, has become a fire that drives me to get out and observe birds all across North Carolina, but also in recent years to new and different places such as Southeast Arizona and San Diego County.

The versatility of eBird has become essential to my work with the NC Division of Parks and Recreation.  As the Inventory Biologist for the division, I am tasked with tracking rare and uncommon species in the state park units throughout NC.  Though I am fortunate enough to deal with many different taxa, the birds are always an exciting part of the job.  eBird features such as species maps, rare bird alerts, bar graphs, and exploring hotspots help narrow down the search for listed or priority species of birds, greatly increasing my productivity.

Over the last few years, I’ve been fortunate enough to get out in the field with a group of like-minded birders near Raleigh, my base of operations.  This group of friends has been integral to helping me further my knowledge and appreciation of birds, from encouraging me to get out on pelagic trips out of Cape Hatteras, to chasing first-state-record birds on isolated coastal beaches, to gathering and discussing our birding finds over tasty beverages every few months.  It’s great to have a repository into which we can log those finds, and fun to add some “competition” in the form of the Top 100 lists, for state and counties!

Mountain Plover, the first state record mentioned above.

Mountain Plover, the first state record for North Carolina. Checklist here.

I also can’t say enough about how the eBird Mobile app (and before it, BirdLog) have made recording observations easier.  I used to dread entering my data from a long weekend in the field, such as annual winter birding trips to the coast.  I’d come back with 10-15 lists to enter, which always felt more like a chore.  Now, it’s easy to record what I’m seeing in real time.

Thank you, eBird, Zeiss, and everyone else involved with these monthly challenges!  It’s such a great way to keep people motivated and inspired to keep up their passion that we call birding!