One of the things we want to use this space for is sharing resources that have inspired us or that we’ve found useful. I think it’s fitting to lead off that series with eBird from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society.
eBird is a revolutionary citizen-science project that was an inspiration for Field Station from the start. A vast community of birders uses the eBird website to enter their observations. The submissions are reviewed and the data combined with many years of past reports from all across the continent.
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 March 2012, participants reported more than 3.1 million bird observations across North America!
The website also includes mapping and charting tools providing rich insight into migration and behavior patterns. You can plot observations by region and by species to find out about your hometown or your favorite bird. I can tell you from experience that it’s easy to spend hours exploring here.
So go check it out. eBird is a great project and I’m thrilled to see how successful it’s been. And if you enjoy birding, no matter how casually, please start letting them know what you see.