This month closes out Vermont eBird’s 14th year. Your contributions have made Vermont eBird the largest community-driven biodiversity dataset ever amassed in the Green Mountain State. Nearly 2,000 Vermont eBirders have submitted 260,000 complete checklists, representing all 385 species of birds ever reported from Vermont. We’ve added over 26,000 images and almost 1,200 sound recordings to Vermont checklists. This year alone, we gathered more than 38,000 checklists comprising 280 bird species. And we join the more than 360,000 eBirders have submitted 472 million bird sightings, representing 10,364 species across every country in the world. This year alone, you helped gather a total of more than 100 million observations!
We are constantly inspired by the power and passion of this world of interconnected birders, and we are excited as we look to the future of what we can achieve. Don’t forget: these are all your achievements. It is your information that powers the eBird engine. Every time you go out and keep a list of birds, you’re making a real contribution to our understanding of the world’s ever-changing avian biodiversity. Thank you.
2017 was a big year for eBird, delivering novel scientific and conservation applications, innovative new birding tools, and much more. Of course, as always, this was provided 100% free of charge to any who wish to use it. We appreciate and thank all of our Vermont eBird collaborators.
Here’s what made our list of what we will remember from 2017.
Science and Conservation
- eBird Abundance Models covering the entire hemisphere are now available for a selection of species. This new generation of predictive models provides an unparalleled look at the full annual cycle of a species, and is based on your eBird data! Explore eBird Abundance Models, and stay tuned for broader species coverage in the coming months.
- 60 peer-reviewed publications were published this year incorporating eBird data, including research on increasing asynchrony between spring greening of foliage and migrant bird arrival, the importance of Latin American wintering grounds to North American migrants, and how eBird data can be used to dynamically conserve habitat for migratory birds. This brings the total number of peer-reviewed publications using eBird data over 150. See all eBird publications here.
- Exciting new work incorporating birdwatcher expertise into eBird models shows that even if you’re just getting started birding, you can report your sightings with the knowledge that every bird counts! Learn more.
- Sensitive Species protections now allow eBirders to safely report accurate locations for species whose future prospects are threatened by targeted human exploitation. Read more about eBird’s Sensitive Species approach.
- eBird data are a free resource to anyone accessible via the Data Download page. More than 80,000 people have downloaded raw eBird data for analysis, and more than 2,600,000 people visited the eBird website in 2017.
New Birding Tools
- eBird Illustrated Checklists revolutionize the exploration of eBird data. See the best photos and sounds plus time-of-year information for any hotspot or region in the world. Whether planning a trip, working on identification, or just trying to learn more about birds, Illustrated Checklists have what you need. Add your photos and audio and be featured on your local Illustrated Checklist! Search any region here and click on the Illustrated Checklist tab.
- With more than 5 million photos now in the Macaulay Library from your eBird checklists, how can you find the images that you want? Our Community Rating system lets every eBirder help curate the Macaulay collection, helping make it easier for you to find the information that you want, when you want it, and helping bring the best media forward for everyone to see.
- Have you ever dragged a photo into the wrong species by accident? Or realized a couple years after the fact that the small brown bird from your weekend birding trip was actually a different species than you had entered originally? Instead of having to delete and re-enter all the information, Change Species lets you effortlessly swap data around within a checklist.
- eBird Mobile got some serious upgrades in 2017. My eBird integration now puts your lists in your pocket wherever you are, and automated tracking lets you let the phone do the work to calculate distance and duration—all you have to do is watch birds! More than 60% of eBird data are now entered on eBird Mobile.
2017 eBird Growth Around the World
- 472 million bird sightings have been entered into eBird. This includes more than 100 million in 2017 alone; with 13,601,090 coming from just the month of May 2017. The one-month total this May is more observations than were collected in eBird’s first 66 months combined! eBird’s contributions make up more than one-third of the biodiversity data in the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF). See the eBird GBIF dataset here.
- The third Global Big Day set a new bar for birding’s biggest day. On 13 May 2017, 20,500 birders collectively noted 6,634 species of bird, reporting 54,000 checklists from 160 countries. Mark your calendar for next year’s Global Big Day: 5 May 2018.
- More than 2.5 million photos and 60,000 sounds were uploaded to the Macaulay Library through your eBird checklists in 2017 alone. Explore all photos and sounds here.
- New translations now support 11 languages throughout eBird.org (27 on eBird mobile) as well as more than 50 languages and regional versions of bird common names. See a full list of our eBird Common Names here.
It has been a whirlwind year with some huge steps forward, and we can’t wait to see what we can continue to create together with you in 2018.