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February eBirder of the Month Challenge: Sharing Checklists

By dgross February 9, 2017
Feb eBM_Featured Image

From Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology. Texas birding trip.

Sharing is caring. This month’s eBirder of the Month Challenge, sponsored by Carl Zeiss Sports Optics, is all about birding with others. This could be a day in the field with a long-time birding friend that you’ve been checking the local lake with for 30 years, or someone who is just starting. They could be an eBirder already, or somebody who like birds but hasn’t started eBirding yet. Many bird clubs hold field trips with a list of commonly observed birds. Rare transient species often congregate birders in one spot leading to shared observations and discoveries. The Ross’s Gull at Tupper Lake, New York, the Snowy Owl in Bradford County, the Townsend’s Warbler in Bloomsburg, the Black-backed Oriole in Berks County, and the Slaty-backed Gull at Lake Erie are just some examples of rare bird magnets. The eBirder of the Month will be chosen from all eligible shared checklists submitted during February. Each shared checklist that you’re a part of gives you one chance to win. These lists could be shared with you from another person, or shared from you to someone else—the only requirement is that all people on the shared checklist were a part of the birding event. These checklists must be entered, shared, and accepted 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.
We hope that you can use this checklist sharing challenge as motivation to get out in the field with fellow birders. Introduce someone to eBird. Bring someone out for a morning during the GBBC. Take a walk at the local park with your kids, or post on your local birding email list or Facebook group to see if someone wants to go see what’s around at a nearby hotspot. Reconnect with an old birding buddy or make a new one. Go out and have a good time!


The next generation of birders sharing a checklist at Hammond Hill during the Young Birders Event.

There are millions of people around the world united by our shared interest in birds. Chances are that if you’re reading this, you’ve fallen victim to those with feathers just as we have here at eBird Central. Although eBird is fundamentally a database of bird sightings, we believe that it is much more. It is a way to have our personal passion for birds used not only for our own satisfaction, but also to give back to the birds by providing knowledge for science and conservation efforts. There are more than 330,000 people who have used eBird to log their sightings so far, reporting birds from every country in the world.

Birders at Nicaragua’s Natural Preserve Chocoyero El Brujo. Liliana Chavarria is lending some instructions on bird identification. By Doug Gross.

Some people see eBird as a way of life, and submit multiple checklists every day. Others may submit an occasional checklist from their yard, and that is wonderful too. All sightings matter—any bird, anywhere, anytime. We feel that one of the great things about eBird is the variety of people to which it appeals. We hope you enjoy it as well, and use this month to share your appreciation with others. These eBird checklists often give people an excuse to travel to interesting places where they can log more bird species than usual.

David Brown and other Lycoming Audubon members on a group trip in 2015.

Many Pennsylvania birders travel abroad to enjoy the birds of other countries and “our birds” that have migrated elsewhere. Often we meet and go birding with others. This enhances the experience, adds birds to the list, and make friends as we go. Sharing experiences and also checklists is a great way to increase our enjoyment and also our ability to add to everyone’s knowledge of birds.

Some of the eBird/Cornell Lab team enjoying watching a Gyrfalcon together near Ithaca, New York.

Each month we will feature a new eBird challenge and set of selection criteria. Each monthly winnerwill receive a new ZEISS Conquest HD 8×42 binocular.

A PSO Field Trip with a spectacular view from the Allegheny Front by Chad Kauffman, PSO

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