June eBirder of the Month Challenge

By Team eBird 1 Jun 2016
20100612_09002929_Pileated Woodpecker_Minnesota

If you are lucky enough to find a Pileated Woodpecker nest with young, you would select the breeding code NY, the highest level of breeding confirmation. Then go brag to your friends.

This month’s eBirder of the month challenge, sponsored by Carl Zeiss Sports Optics, is aimed to improve our knowledge of breeding birds across the world. In the Northern Hemisphere, June is a crucial time in the annual cycle of many birds, as they build nests, hatch chicks, and hopefully fledge young – perpetuating the existence of their species. Although the rest of the world may not be in the throes of summer, 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 20 complete checklists containing at least one breeding code during June. These checklists must be entered by the last day of the month in order to qualify for the drawing. Winners will be notified by the 10th of the following month.

Observing the behavior of breeding birds really helps us gain a fuller understanding of bird populations and their breeding ecology. By having people enter their breeding codes worldwide, we can determine when certain species are nesting between 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, we have this article which should be able to help you out.

Bank Swallow (Sand Martin) in a nest hole: ON – Confirmed

Bank Swallow (a.k.a. Sand Martin) at nest: breeding code ON – Confirmed.

Even though this challenge only lasts a month, we hope that you’ll begin to use breeding 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 sightings 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!

Black-legged Kittiwake: CN – Confirmed

Black-legged Kittiwake with nesting material: breeding code CN – Confirmed.

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.

Carl Zeiss Sports Optics is a proven leader in sports optics and is the official optics sponsor for eBird. “Carl Zeiss feels strongly that by partnering with the Cornell Lab we can provide meaningful support for their ability to carry out their research, conservation, and education work around the world,” says Mike Jensen,  President of Carl Zeiss Sports Optics, North America. “The Cornell Lab is making a difference for birds, and from the highest levels of our company we’re committed to promoting birding and the Lab’s work, so there’s a great collaboration. eBird is a truly unique and synergistic portal between the Lab and birders, and we welcome the opportunity to support them both.”

Find out more:

eBirder of the Month