Friday, March 6, 2009

North American Birds and eBird

One more reason to submit your observations to eBird: your archived sightings help write the pages of North American Birds.

eBird Banner
If you're asking, "What's North American Birds?" prepared to be dazzled. NAB is a quarterly journal published by the American Birding Association. It focuses on the distribution and abundance of birds -- all birds - across North America, region-by-region, season-by-season. It's much more than a simple list of rare birds that were found. Instead, it's all noteworthy sightings put in context with what else is going on around the continent, or in a certain region over time. You'll find stories about the arrival and departure dates of your backyard birds (are they shifting?), reports of lingering or wintering migrants, encounters with unexpected large flock sizes, explorations of expanding or contracting range distributions. Of course, details about rare birds are included, especially how their presence might fit into a larger picture.

North American Birds - Spring 2008 Cover
To discern interesting patterns and trends, along with where the rarities appeared, the regional editors need data. In the past they received index cards from a small network of observers, those who took it upon themselves to record and submit their unusual sightings. They attended local birding club meetings and trolled listserves.

And now they have a new weapon: they can download and peruse all of the eBird submissions from their area.

So while you are set up to track your observations, you're contributing pieces to the puzzle of bird distribution and abundance across North America. So, take a few minutes each day to contribute to eBird - it's quick, simple, and you'll be helping document trends in North American avifauna.

Read more on the eBird web site, and check out the North American Birds archive for a sample of how important your sightings are.



jan m said...

Mike, thanks for reminding me to get caught up. I have slips of paper on my counter from the past couple of weeks to enter.

noflickster said...

jan_m - ditto! I was good for two months, now I'm behind. New birds coming in always prompts me to bird more, sit in front of the computer less.

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