Wednesday, June 10, 2009

eBird Love

I'm quite sure I have not talked about how much I love ebird.org. You may have noticed that some of my birding posts turn into lists of species with numbers. This is due to me already having put the data into ebird.org and I'm looking it over to write my blog post.

If you're wondering what the heck I'm using ebird.org for, well, it's a site where you sign up and can log all your birding observations. They are flexible enough for users where I'm confident that it doesn't ruin the data they receive. There are different types of observations that you can log - traveling, stationary, casual, and area counts. If you're totally new to the types, I highly suggest you check out the FAQs there. They are great info! Trust me. I've done group point counts before, and it discusses how these are done, which is valuable info if you ever want to join in on point or Christmas Bird Counts. Plus, if you follow the FAQS on how to record better data, you'll be birding a lot like a professional would.

And if you're freaked out about having to learn latin names of birds, well, don't. You can search everything by common name if you desire.

And if you sign up, you can check out neat data on birds in all sorts of forms. My favorite is to pull up the map, type in a not-so-common species, click on the location when the map comes up and change location to 3 counties I bird in to see where previous birders have spotted that species. It makes me feel like a spy. Then I can plan to hide out and sneak up on the birds. Oh, it also shows you WHEN previous birders saw that species, which is INCREDIBLY helpful. I once asked it to show me where and when I can find the Pied-billed Grebe here, and I now know I'm less likely to see it and will have to probably wait till autumn. There's not many other places I can get this info.

I could go on and on. But I think you should check it out for yourselves. It's awesome. It's influenced me to bird even more.

Also, check out this awesome article about Anna's hummingbirds!

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