ebird: Great for birders & birds
The Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology and Audubon have collaborated to bring to life a fantastic tool for keeping track of bird sightings and populations all over the world. It is called ebird, and it can be reached via www.ebird.org. It is free to access and use, although donations are much-appreciated. Anyone can view data on the website. It is especially useful to birders who are looking for certain species of birds in a given area, or for someone planning a trip to someplace and wishing to know what birds might be found there. It is proving to be increasingly useful to wildlife biologists, land use planners, and others as the database grows. And that growth comes from the public submitting lists of birds that they see or hear to ebird. To do that one must apply for and then receive a user name and a password. It is a relatively simple process that their website takes you through step-by-step. There is a screening process for accepting reports of rare species or unusually high numbers. Each state has one or more reviewers of reports to ensure that they are accurate. Data are accepted from anywhere as long as the location is map-spotted at the beginning of the submission process. Many locations, including a dozen parts of White Memorial, are already on the ebird maps, so it is only a matter of clicking on the map for a given area and selecting the appropriate spot. You can also put your home on the map and maintain a database for your own property. Data submitted to ebird are safe and secure. It only goes public if you authorize it. As a "hot spot" all of White Memorial's data is open to public viewing. If you selected all of our locations plus Bantam Lake and Litchfield Town Beach you would see that we found a total of 199 species of birds here last year. That's pretty good for an inland location! This year we've seen 47 species so far. Reports from the Property by members of the public can be forwarded to us via e-mail. We look forward to such reports, and hope to see more once this blog is published.
Posted by Dave Rosgen