This month’s eBirder of the month challenge, sponsored by Carl Zeiss Sports Optics, gives you a chance to improve our knowledge of breeding birds across the world. In much of the world, June is a critical time in the annual cycle of many birds, as they build nests, hatch chicks, and hopefully fledge young. Even if June isn’t peak breeding season near you, there are still many signs of breeding to be found wherever you are! The eBirder of the month will be drawn from eBirders who submit at least 15 eligible checklists containing at least one breeding behavior code during June. Winners will be notified by the 10th of the following month.
Observing the behavior of breeding birds gives us a fuller understanding of bird populations and their breeding ecology. By collecting breeding codes worldwide, we can determine when certain species are nesting across countries, states, and even counties and smaller scales, as well as how that timing might vary over the years. If you’re not certain how to use breeding codes yet, check out this article.
Even though this challenge only lasts a month, we hope that you’ll begin to use breeding behavior codes in your eBird checklists year-round. By adding details to your sightings like breeding codes, comments, images, and age/sex information, it makes your eBird checklists even more valuable. When following a bird to watch its behavior and try to find a nest, you also learn a lot about the birds that you might not otherwise notice. In this way, by observing breeding birds, you’re both helping out with science, and furthering your own personal knowledge and appreciation of birds. Everybody wins!
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. In addition, don’t forget about the 2018 Checklist-a-day Challenge—can you submit 365 eligible checklists this year?
Carl Zeiss Sports Optics is a proven leader in sports optics and is the official optics sponsor for eBird. “We are thrilled to continue our partnership with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and support the vital scientific data being collected by dedicated eBirders.” – Richard Moncrief, Birding and Nature Observation Segment Manager at Carl Zeiss SBE