Electronic Birding: My Top Bird Sightings on eBirdFor those of you who are birders, do you use eBird? If you don’t know what this is – and you’re a birder – you should check this out. eBird is a project from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society, and offers a way for birders to share (and store) their various birding lists electronically. These lists are used to provide interactive maps of global bird sightings, offering wide-ranging data on abundance and distribution.
eBird’s goal is to maximize the utility and accessibility of the vast numbers of bird observations made each year by recreational and professional bird watchers. It is amassing one of the largest and fastest growing biodiversity data resources in existence. For example, in January 2010, participants reported more than 1.5 million bird observations across North America!
If you’re inclined to keep records of your bird sightings and lists, eBird provides an easy way for you to make your data contribute to meaningful research already in progress. I love that!!
And even if you’re not a birder, it’s still a valuable tool. If you’re a teacher or parent, here’s a great way to get kids involved in data collecting, and helping them see the immediate results of their efforts once their data goes online! There’s no minimum amount of birds you can post (once you find one, I suppose), and you don’t need to use it weekly or monthly – just whenever you have some bird sightings to record.
I didn’t start using eBird until just a few years ago, so had to upload a bunch of my lists from the past. And while I don’t have all of my sightings posted up there yet, I do have some of my more memorable ones.
Here’s a list (in no particular order) of my favorite sightings listed on eBird:
1. Pine Grosbeak, Springfield, VT 2001
2. Clark’s Nutcracker, Yellowstone National Park, 2001
3. Red Crossbill, Yellowstone National Park, 2001
4. Iceland Gull, Plum Island, Newburyport, MA, 2001
5. Red-Headed Woodpecker, Lowell State Forest, Lowell, MA 2010
6. Northern Harrier, Plumb Island, Newburyport, MA 2001
7. Green Heron, Wachusett Meadow Wildlife Sanctuary, Princeton, MA 2001
8. Merlin, Great Meadows NWR, Concord, MA 2004
9. Blue-winged Warbler, Broad Meadow Brook Wildlife Sanctuary, Worcester, MA 2003
10. Wilson’s Storm Petrel, Petit Manan Island, ME 2002
11. Atlantic Puffin, Petit Manan Island, ME 2002
12. Black-throated Green Warbler, High Pond Audubon Camp, Brandon, VT 2000
13. Pileated Woodpecker, Fitchburg, MA 2000
Do you eBird?