eBird is the online birding checklist submission headquarters. Birders from all over the U.S. (Canada and elsewhere too) can submit their bird sightings through an easy to use form. This data can be used to develop trends in bird populations as well as to determine abundancy and dates when birds are at a particular location. The beauty of eBird doesn’t stop there.
Members (free membership is required) can use their collected checklists to create all sorts of meaningful histograms: location, time, particular species, etc. They can also use eBird if they are into listing: life, year, month, county, and location are all tracked and can be called up and downloaded.
But where eBird really pays off is when lots of birders use it. When many checklists are submitted from many different locations over a long period of time, real data can be gleaned. Here lies the problem. The number of checklists submitted is low compared to how many birders could be using the service. For example, from the first of the year to February 26, there have only been 492 checklists submitted for Illinois. This makes Illinois below the top 20 despite it being the 5th most populated state (and one with quite a bit of birders).
To help increase the data collected, we’ve vowed to promote this wonderful service to anyone we bird with locally. Our local bird club, NCIOS, of which we created the website for, now has its own eBird account. It is our hopes that we can convince our local birders to submit loads of checklists. We started this about a week ago and so far we’ve added 11 checklists.
We encourage all birders to try eBird out. It is pretty easy to use but might take a little while to get used to setting up locations. Once you have that ready, get those checklists going!