Please join us in congratulating Sahana M of Mysore, India, winner of the February 2019 eBird Challenge, sponsored by Carl Zeiss Sports Optics. Sahana’s name was drawn randomly from 2,689 eBirders who submitted at least 20 eligible eBird checklists in February that were shared with others. Sahana will receive a new ZEISS Conquest HD 8×42 binocular for her eBirding efforts. Here’s Sahana’s birding story:
As a traveler, trekker and a mountaineer I was always been drawn towards the biodiversity of the regions I traversed, observing and photographing flowers, plants, birds and especially butterflies.
During this period I volunteered for the annual winter bird monitored program around Mysore, which in turn led to helping with the Mysore City Bird Atlas project which ran from 2014 to 2016. This project introduced me to eBird as that was the mode of data recording and collation. The advantages of using eBird were immediately clear and I started using it to document birds in all my trips. During this time birding had now become a passion, so irrespective of where I was, in the city or in the forest I was looking out for birds. Submitting lists from urbanized setting like parks, bus-stations or airports like I did from birding areas.
It certainly helped that the eBird app was easy to use and would work even without internet connectivity; you can attach images, bird calls, record bird behavior and report breeding status also. This automatically maintained my life-list and honed my birding skills while help build a database on birds of my region. I now started using eBird to study birds of a region and even started using eBird to plan my birding trips.
I now make it a point to submit a bird list everyday, travel or no travel. Birding is now no longer a hobby; it has become a way of life.
Thanks to eBird and Zeiss for this initiative.