August eBirder of the Month Challenge

By Team eBird July 31, 2016

This month’s eBirder of the month challenge, sponsored by Carl Zeiss Sports Optics, is a photography and recording contest! Don’t worry, you don’t need a fancy camera or microphone to win. Minimum entry requirements are an appreciation for birds, your optics of choice, and anything that takes a picture or makes a recording: phone, camera, voice recorder—whatever works! The next time you’re in the field, take a few seconds to immortalize some of the birds you’re encountering through image or sound, and add those media to your checklistsThe eBirder of the month will be drawn from all complete, no-X checklists submitted in August that include at least 3 photos and/or 1 audio recording. This means that each checklist you enter with at least 3 photos or one audio recording counts as one chance to win. The more eligible checklists, the better chance to win! NOTE: the photos and recordings must be your own, and of the actual individual bird you observed in the field—shared checklists with media from your friend don’t count towards your total, but you can always add your media to a shared list to qualify! Checklists must be for observations during this month; not historical checklists entered during August. Winners will be notified by the 10th of the following month.

The world that we live in today is dominated by technology. Examples like Pokémon GO, with 30 million people taking part in a smartphone game in its first week, show the power and potential of the electronic. eBird itself is built on this same foundation: the fact that technological advances enable us to catalogue and collect information on the world around us with increasing efficiency and ease. As technology continues to improve, we’re able to provide you with better tools and resources to document and understand birds worldwide.

Merlin Photo ID is a great example of your eBirding helping to create next-gen birding tools. Take a photo of a North American bird and have it be automatically identified. In order to expand this globally, we need your photos from the rest of the world!

Merlin Photo ID is a great example of your eBirding helping to create next-gen birding tools: automatic photo ID of 400 North American species. In order to expand this globally, we need your photos from the rest of the world! You can help.

The omnipresence of smartphones and cameras provides potential to document millions of bird observations through photos and audio recordings, requiring nothing but a few seconds of time on your birding outing. These media are incredibly valuable tools to understand the birds around us—and also quite fun to look at and listen to! It’s a win-win situation. Even if you don’t consider yourself a photographer, a recordist, or even the sort of birder who takes photos, consider giving it a try this month! Snap a photo through your binoculars, take a picture of some local sightings down the street, or make a recording of bird sounds using your smartphone, and then share your media with the rest of the eBird community. You might just find that this is your favorite new way to enjoy birds.

It is important to note that each eligible checklist (complete, no-X, submitted in August including at least 3 photos and/or 1 audio recording) gives you once chance to be the eBirder of the Month. If you submit 50 eligible lists, then you’ll have 50 chances to win. Good luck, and have fun!

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