|adult male Pileated Woodpecker on homemade suet log - © Dave Spier|
complete eBird checklist at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S35380190
eBird allows you to keep all of your birding records in a way that makes them available to scientific research and conservation. The eBird motto is
"Global tools for birders, critical data for science." (and it's free!)
The following is adapted from the eBird website About page (http://ebird.org/content/ebird/about/)
Record the birds you see
Keep track of your bird lists
Explore dynamic maps and graphs
Share your sightings and join the eBird community
Receive rare bird alerts
Contribute to science and conservation
Launched in 2002 by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society, eBird gathers data from birders around the world to develop basic information on bird abundance and distribution at a variety of space and time scales. eBird’s goal is to harness the vast numbers of bird observations made each year by recreational and professional bird watchers. In return, birders have free and permanent storage of all their sightings and birding lists (such as life, country, state, county, etc.).
Each participant's observations join those of others in an international network. eBird then shares these observations with a global community of educators, land managers, ornithologists, and conservation biologists. This data set is becoming the foundation for a better understanding of bird distribution across the western hemisphere and now beyond.
How Does it Work?
eBird documents the presence or absence of species, as well as bird abundance through checklist data. A simple web-interface, or the alternative mobile app, engages tens of thousands of participants to submit their observations. Results can be viewed via interactive queries on the eBird website. Users are encouraged to participate by providing internet tools to maintain their personal bird records and enable them to visualize data with interactive maps, graphs, and bar charts.
A birder simply enters when, where, and how they went birding, then fills out a checklist of all the birds seen and heard during the outing. eBird provides various options for data gathering including point counts, transects, and area searches. Automated data quality filters developed by regional bird experts review all submissions before they enter the database. Local experts review unusual records that are flagged by the filters.
To get started using eBird, see these articles:
entering data via website: http://help.ebird.org/customer/en/portal/articles/1972661
entering data via mobile app: http://help.ebird.org/customer/portal/articles/2411868
I'll elaborate in future blog posts starting with creating a free account.
eBird data are stored in a secure facility and archived daily, and are accessible to anyone via the eBird web site and other applications developed by the global biodiversity information community. For example, eBird data are part of the Avian Knowledge Network (AKN), which integrates observational data on bird populations across the western hemisphere. In turn, the AKN feeds eBird data to international biodiversity data systems, such as the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF). In this way any contribution made to eBird increases our understanding of the distribution, richness, and uniqueness of the biodiversity of our planet.
For more information on birds, including photos and sounds, visit All About Birds.
Explore Data has an interactive range map for any species (zoomable to your location).
AAB home page: http://www.allaboutbirds.org/page.aspx?pid=1189
map link: http://ebird.org/ebird/map/ and type in a species
Corrections, comments and questions are always welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org