This month’s eBirder of the Month challenge, sponsored by Carl Zeiss Sports Optics, encourages precise eBirding. When you go out, try keeping a few lists for your birding. If you get in the car, stop that checklist and start a new one when you get out at the next location. Check several locations to cover more ground, and who knows what you’ll find! The eBirder of the Month will be drawn from eBirders who submit 3 or more eligible checklists in one day in November. Each day with 3 or more eligible checklists is one chance to win. Checklists must be for observations during this month; not historical checklists entered during November. Winners will be notified by the 10th of the following month.
Precise and accurate locations are critical for useful data in eBird. If you’re looking for a specific bird you want to know where the specific sighting was. If you’re looking for a place to go birding, you want to know what birds were in that specific area. When you’re analyzing data for research or conservation, having precise locations allows you to understand habitat use at scales that are meaningful for birds. Luckily, eBird (and especially eBird Mobile) makes it easy to keep good location information while you’re out birding.
The best case for this is the ‘tracks’ tool on eBird Mobile, which is available on Android devices now, and will be out for iOS this month. Stay tuned! This allows you to collect precise information on the path that you walked, which gives an unprecedented level of precision to your eBird checklists. Even if you don’t use eBird Mobile, you can keep high-quality, precise locations! If you bird an area with a lot of hotspots, make sure that you are using the hotspots correctly: limiting sightings to within the bounds of the location, and starting a new checklist when you exit the hotspot. If there isn’t a hotspot that exists to accurately represent a public birding location, you can suggest one as well! Review our article on plotting your location for a refresher on best practices for location plotting in eBird.
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 2017 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. “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.”
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