The eBird Conundrum

Editor's note: While it can be argued that eBird is already the most successful citizen science project ever, some birders remain unaware of this project, while others have yet to contribute sightings because they have concerns about the accuracy of the data being collected. It's also important to note that many birders have no inclination to keep track of the species or numbers of individual birds that they encounter in the field. To them, counting birds, keeping notes, and spending the time it takes to enter their sightings is beyond their interest level and/or viewed as  "work." This article takes a look at the history of amateur participation in avian data collection and specifically discusses some of the challenges that the eBird staff faces as they strive to involve more birders in this project. In publishing this piece, we at BirdFellow hope to initiate a dialogue between committed eBirders and those who have yet to embrace this project. After reading this article, we invite you to share your thoughts, concerns, and eBirding experiences by posting a comment.

A Historical Perspective

In the beginning, data generated by the modern birding/birdwatching activities of amateur hobbyists was at best suspect and at worst completely ignored by the professional ornithologists. Not so long ago, it would have been unheard of to publish any bird record that was not backed up by a specimen in a museum tray.

Then, during the middle third of the 20th century Ludlow Griscom and others, including a young Roger Tory Peterson, began demonstrating that most birds one might encounter could be identified by sight or sound without being collected. In 1934, Peterson published his first Field Guide to Birds, revolutionizing the methodology we (non-professional observers) use to separate one species of bird from another.  Peterson's guide focused on the significance of unique characteristics we call field marks and how they can be used to identify birds visually. Ongoing refinement of this methodology has resulted in the publication of numerous field guides, identification guides to certain groups of species (gulls, warblers, shorebirds, etc.), and highly focused articles that discuss the finer points of identifying birds that are very similar in overall size, shape, and appearance.

The Citizen Science Epiphany and the Launching of eBird

Over time, professional ornithologists came to realize that there was a massive pool of potentially useful data being generated by amateur birders. Until fairly recently, the most popular and well-known citizen science project relating to birds was the National Audubon Society's Christmas Bird Count. In an effort to collect even more detailed data about wintering birds, the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology started Project Feeder Watch in 1988. Cornell enlisted  legions of North American feeder watchers who volunteered to record and report on birds that they observed at their feeding stations. Project Feeder Watch was focused on monitoring year-to-year as well as long-term changes in the wintering populations of backyard birds. As Internet use became nearly universal, the Cornell Lab and the National Audubon Society partnered to design the most ambitious citizen-science project to date, jointly launching eBird in 2002.

The aim of eBird is to collect year-round observations from birders all over North America and eventually the world. It is believed that data collected by amateur birders will prove extremely valuable as scientists endeavor to better understand the population trends and distributional changes of the world's avifauna. Prior to eBird, much of this data either went unrecorded or took up residence in the notebooks or other personal databases that may never be incorporated into a usable database. Since eBird is an easily-accessed online database and is open to anyone willing submit their sightings, it has become a highly popular repository where birders of every skill level can freely contribute observations. The eBird project now collects more than a one million individual bird observations per month.

Barriers to Full Adoption of eBird

By making eBird available to any and all comers, the Cornell Lab and National Audubon have opened themselves to criticism about the accuracy of the data being collected via eBird. Ironically, the same argument used decades ago by professional ornithologists to discredit the contributions of amateurs are now being used by some amateurs to discredit eBird, a database designed by professional ornithologists. Some veteran observers have publicly questioned the value of a database that by default includes some faulty data points (misidentified birds). I admit to having been among those with such concerns.

Perhaps part of the problem is that eBird circumnavigates the informal/formal filter systems that many of us have come to embrace. Over the last half-century or so, amateur birders have developed a network of gatekeepers to filter out incorrect and questionable reports. In addition to local field notes editors and the regional editors for North American Birds (NAB), states, provinces, and nations have created records committees whose sole purpose is to determine the validity of reports of birds that are rare or unusual in a particular region. I am currently a regional editor for NAB and also a member of the Oregon Bird Records Committee, thus I've had a role in these gatekeeping activities. Birders unfamiliar with these processes are often put off by the notion of some faceless individual or small group of individuals passing judgment on their reports. Sadly, these methods have produced an undesired schism of sorts that divides those who make such decisions and those whose reports are being examined.

To solve this dilemma, the eBird team has developed a self-policing filtration system that allows the observer to decide if they want to "confirm" their report of an unusual species or unexpectedly high number of individuals. Surely some less-experienced observers opt to delete reports that are red-flagged, while others will steadfastly stand by their initial report even when it is pointed out that what they are reporting is unusual. Beyond the self-policing controls in the system, eBird coordinators have recruited local experts to further refine filters and communicate directly with the observer base. In the end, local reviewers are still able to set aside suspect reports so that they are not incorporated into the database.

Since eBird relies on local volunteers for their review process, there is significant region-to-region variation in how the review process is executed. In areas where there are lots of active eBird contributors and a strong local review process, the quality of data is generally very high. Conversely, in areas with either low eBird adoption or a low number of contributing observers, there is often no local review person and the local filters are not fine tuned. The eBird staff is engaged in a continuing effort to make the review and filtration processes more uniform across all regions, states, provinces, and countries.

These imperfections and other perceived shortcomings in the eBird methodologies have led some very talented, experienced observers to avoid contributing their sightings to the eBird database. Initially, I was a reluctant contributor to eBird for some of these same reasons. Since then I've taken a serious look around and I see that there are currently no alternatives on the horizon. Like it or not, eBird is here to stay.

Why I Am an eBirder

Since I believe in the ultimate mission of eBird, my hope is to play a role in the ongoing refinement of eBird. I recognize that to have any influence I must first be willing to submit my own sightings and encourage others to do the same. One can only be part of the solution if they are actively engaged in the process. Remaining on the sidelines and criticizing a process that you are not engaged in is unlikely to result in the positive changes you hope to see. I have yet to hear any birder argue against the value of the type of database that is being created via the eBird project.

Generally speaking, the most active birders are usually the most experienced as well. It is probably safe to assume that the most experienced observers will see more species, more accurately identify the species that they encounter, and take a more serious approach to the data that they submit. Further, experienced observers are likely to recognize filter settings that need adjustment and offer substantive comments that will help the eBird staff make the appropriate alterations. In theory, the shear volume of sightings contributed by this core group of observers is likely to outweigh the occasional faulty data points contributed by birders who only get out into the field a few times a year. 

At the very least, I would encourage those who remain skeptical to enter a few of their checklists into the system in order to gain a full understanding of how it works. Don't just enter simple checklists, but keep close track numbers and the age and sex of the birds you see and then enter a more detailed report. Engaging in this sort of observation methodology will not only increase your birding skills, but I have found satisfaction in knowing that my observations are going into a system where they have value, even if that system is still a work in progress. 

The Imperative

Few birders would argue that the time to start channeling our collective observations into a single database is now. There is always risk and some element of resistance to change. Were professional scientists prudent in ignoring colloquial and informal data collected by the earliest amateur birders? Is it prudent now to dismiss or attempt to discredit current efforts to develop a collective database where our observations can be put to scientific use?  Is eBird so hopelessly flawed that we should abandon the incredible momentum that has been established and try to start anew? In my opinion, the answer to all three of these questions is no. Can eBird be improved in terms of its ability to reduce the number of faulty data points that make their way into the database? I think those at the core of this project would be the first to answer, "certainly." Regardless of how data is collected or who collects it, in the end there will be imperfections. This begs the ultimate question. Should we wait for someone to come along with what appears to be a more perfected methodology, or should we embrace an already popular methodology with known imperfections and endeavor to make it as perfect as we can? 


While Cornell pulls most of the weight with eBird, your account should note that eBird was developed by both Cornell and Audubon as a full partnership. Cornell has a bigger role right now in the development and management of the program, but it is still jointly owned and managed. .


Several years ago while discussing my sightings with our Hawk Watch counter, Forrest Rowland, at Cape Henlopen State Park, Delaware, he suggested I start to use e-bird. I have found it most enjoyable and an easy way to keep track of where I have been and
what I have seen, while also contributing to the data base of bird
population and distribution. I also feel that it has made me a better
birder and more eager to learn more. I always take time to view
the photo section which often leads to other birder’s photo collections
and id challenges.


As Dave and others know, I am one of those who has been reluctant to jump on the Ebird band wagon. I was an early participant in the collective database experiment in Oregon called which pre-dates Ebird. I still use that site, though not to the degree that I once did.

I also tested Ebird in several of its early incarnations, including the very first one. I found it to be a rather one-sided proposition, easy to input data, hard to extract data. Over time, most of my reciprocity issues have been dealt with. Ebird is much better at two-way data movement and they’ve added maps and site guides and stuff that make the system birder friendly. I see why it’s attractive to people and I can see all of the possibilities going into the future.

So why am I not on board and posting data every day? Those who know me know that I am a Citizen Science fanatic. What’s my excuse? Its hard to explain without coming off stogy or aloof or cranky. Cornell is too far away. This is Citizens Science with a 10-foot pole. It lacks intimacy. It lacks a sense of place. Like so many internet social media inventions, it’s just a little too sterile for me and I’m left feeling like it’s just one more thing somebody I don’t know wants me to do for them.

I recommend that folks check out Ebird. I know lots of people who absolutely love it. But my reasons for not being an Ebird person are complicated and difficult to articulate. They have more to do with the way my head’s wired than with specific, fixable issues at Ebird. I’m not likely to become an Ebird person any time soon, mostly because that’s just not the way I roll…


I am new to birding, really new, I recorded my first species on April 5, 2010. It is embarrassing for me to disclose he number of mistaken identities that I racked up in the months since I took up this hobby. My species count for 2010 stands at 130 after eliminating 13 incorrect records thanks to the unsolicited reviews provided in-part by the author of this article and other knowledgeable individuals kind enough to spend the time to educate and challenge me to become a better birder. To that end, I believe the exercise of submitting observations to eBird improves my skills and brings meaning to this avocation. As a result I hope over time eBird’s decision to encourage the citizenry in general to submit observations is proven wise.


Thanks to Rob for pointing out my oversight regarding the National Audubon Society’s partnership in eBird. I have edited my piece to properly reflect their ongoing involvement. In particular I enjoyed the comments from Lynn and Jack, who both feel that using eBird is helping hone their birding skills. I’m sure the eBird team is most appreciative of this type of feedback.


Great piece, Dave. I’ll be forwarding this link.

Mike, I have a couple of thoughts about your comment. First off, full disclosure: while not at all involved in the creation of eBird, I was a grad student at the Lab of O during its genesis. I guess I sort of know the community already. However, as a Wisconsin transplant now, I have found the eBird team to be hugely responsive to comments and feedback – directly so. I receive an email within a day or two when I make a comment on the project. I don’t feel like there’s a ten-foot pole. However, perhaps that’s not the kind of community you’re looking for?

For me, the idea that all of those birds we watch are trailed by a few bits of data, and that I can help capture that data to the benefit of birds, outweighs the tedium of entering lists and any sterility of social media. A number of the outputs of that data that the eBird team have rendered were hugely compelling in that respect (the Eastern Phoebe map over time is amazing). As a scientist and data collector, I admit I feel a hair of resentment over the fact that these data are easier for the eBird team to analyze than they are for me, and that perhaps I’m collecting data for someone else’s project. But I probably wouldn’t be using them anyway, and in some respects it’s no different than BBS data or other times I’ve volunteered.

The giant masses of data that birdwatchers can contribute far outweigh the mistakes that people might make, and the power to detect patterns is enormous. But every submission (like votes!) makes a difference. I too first didn’t do it much, didn’t have much interest, but I started feeling guilty – it’s for the birds! I felt like it took a critical mass of my own data to pique my interest.


One thing I didn’t mention in the article, but that Jesse Ellis alluded to, is the responsiveness of the eBird team. In particular, I’ve had several e-mail exchanges with Brian Sullivan about eBird. He has been extremely candid and non-defensive in his responses to the concerns I’ve shared. As much as anything this inspired me to start contributing my own data. The feeling that was created through our interactions was one of every contributor or potential contributor having value and being needed.

The professional ornithologists intimately involved in eBird, particularly on the Cornell side, surely had to go through a learning curve when it came to being responsive to the masses. Such folks are geared towards defending their work among peers and navigating the academic peer-review process that allows them to publish their work. Meeting the needs of and being responsive to Bob and Susie Weekendbirder is probably not first nature to those whose careers are spent around institutions of higher learning. Early on, my feeling was that eBird wasn’t responsive enough or particularly concerned about my needs or those of rank and file birders. As already expressed by Mike Patterson, it seemed that they just wanted my data. However, over time that has changed. The inclusion of rankings and “game” elements (i.e. “Top 100” and All-Time First/Last Records etc.) tells me that the eBird project leaders have done their homework in terms of trying to understanding how to make the project more appealing. Over time they’ve also made it easier for me to get data back out of the system and return value in exchange for the value I input into the system.

Like me, and the thousands of other eBird contributors, Brian Sullivan, Marshall Iliff, and Chris Wood (eBird Project Leaders) are birders. Their ability to talk the talk and understand the culture of the birding community has enabled them to reach out to birders and create the relationships that drive this project. I had the opportunity to watch Marshall and Chris work one-on-one with birders at the eBird booth at the recent Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival. They were engaged, enthusiastic, and almost assuredly adding to the list of eBird contributors with every interaction. How many of those folks then went home and recruited their birding friends to start eBirding?


Thanks, Dave! This is great. I feel like I can’t emphasize enough the value of eBird and similar programs. Ecosystems (and birds in particular) are changing so rapidly right now that we need observations on such a massive scale that it can’t be delivered by scientists alone. While data gathered by eBirders is far from perfect, data gathered by scientists frequently has flaws as well. Fortunately for eBird, a rigorous system is in place to catch these problems as they arise. Moreover, data can be re-filtered as improvements in filters are made, thus creating an ever-improving dataset. Data entry in eBird is becoming easier as well. eBird’s partner site EZBird ( now offers an email option for efficient data entry, and there is an Excel option as well. There is at least one smartphone application that uses eBird as well, with talk of more, and the possibility of a smartphone entry method as well. As data entry becomes easier, hopefully this will attract more birders to eBird. Beyond the smartphone applications, my hope for the next eBird improvement is a means to enter life lists when precise date and location is not available. eBird has become a one-stop listing application that cuts down on the tedium of keeping and updating paper copies of all one’s activities. Now, one entry is sufficient to update all lists, and has become my sole means of list-keeping for all my state and county lists outside Oregon. I encourage everyone to check out eBird and take advantage of this great opportunity!


Like others it took me a while to catch on to using eBird. But now that I am a converted user I love it. As someone who has been sporadic over my career of keeping good notes and numbers of birds seen, eBird has been key in providing me with energy and purpose while out in the field. Not only has eBird inspired to me look more diligently at birds, but at long last has helped me conquer my aversion to counting them. With practice I get better and better at it and there comes a sense of accomplishment with every list that is submitted.

Like Dave, every time I have talked to any of the three eBird project leaders (Brian, Chris, and Marshall) I have been impressed with their diligence and commitment to the birding community. They respond with honesty as to what the issues are and how they are attempting to improve eBird. Brian has been particularly helpful. Seeing how the data is beginning to be used and what it indicates is enlightening.

What is very satisfying is to know that the notes I will take in the future and those kept over the years now have a place to go where they may be of use instead of sitting on the shelf. No longer limited to just Christmas, feeder, or migration counts, now my daily data has purpose and for that I am grateful.

The birds need all the help we can give them and who better than those that love to look at them, whether it be casually or with more intent.


Great article. I am an ebird reviewer for Humboldt, Del Norte, Trinity, and Siskiyou counties in CA and have been intensively using ebird since 2005. What actually got me REALLY started with using ebird was losing one of my rite-in-the-rain notebooks in Wisconsin. I was so bummed about all those notes being lost I vowed to never let that happen again and from that day on I’ve been a regular ebird contributor. Since then I have unfortunately lost another notebook while hanging over the railing of a pelagic trip out of Fort Bragg while straining to see a Manx Shearwater fly by. Fortunately this time, though, all my notes from that notebook were not lost in the ocean since I had already entered them into eBird!

Since starting to use ebird back in ‘05 it’s been really amazing to see 1) the number of birders that have also become eBird fanatics and 2) to see the Cornell lab team make eBird as birder friendly as possible….especially since the Iliff, Wood, and Sullivan team has been formed. I too remember when eBird first came out it was totally clunky and not user-friendly at all. But, times have changed and by embracing eBird and melding it into all of your daily birding activities it will do nothing but make you a better birder. I have myself transitioned from being a birder that just used to note his lifers, county, state birds, on a checklist or as a sparse note in a notebook that took years to fill up to now making a new list for each location I visit throughout the day with time, distance traveled (or area), and note every species and number of that species. It’s really opened my eyes to the nuances of bird status and distribution. Plus, you can SEE that status and distribution by looking at the bar charts in ebird. Take a look at the bar charts for Humboldt County…it’s really becoming pretty realistic to the actual status and distribution of Humboldt County birds, minus some of the rarities that have been recorded back in the day before ebird. The more contributors = the more realistic they will become.

If nothing else eBird causes you to become fully aware of ALL the species you see throughout a day of birding, not just the rarities that we may encounter along the way and make a day of birding really memorable. Also, with paying more attention to ALL the birds we encounter we actually are giving ourselves MORE opportunity to find a rarity that all of us birders love to find and share with others.

There’s so much more to say but I’ve got a bunch of things I got to take care of like……counting birds in my yard and entering them into eBird!


For the record, I am a professional ornithologist and birder with more than 50 years’ birding experience, mosly in and near British Columbia. Although I have contributed several years’ worth of my bird records to eBird, I am skeptical about the way the program is organized and am not an active contributor at the moment.

First of all, Dave, I think you are incorrect in saying that there are “no alternatives on the horizon”. There is a very good program, developed in Oregon (years before eBird), called BirdNotes, which was referred to by Mike Patterson. BirdNotes has some distinct advantages over eBird. For one, it allows birders to enter lists for a defined area, rather than forcing observers to enter all their observations as if they were made at a single point, the way eBird does. For another, it allows all contributors to see a list of birds seen by a particular observer at a particular time, which eBird does not.

My biggest concern about eBird is not about the relatively small number of questionable sightings in the database. It is about the failure to make information about the observers’ names avialable to ordinary observers who may want to use the data. Currently, observer names seem to be available only to eBird administrators or to the person who made the sightings.

In my opinion, as a long-time compiler of bird sightings (e.g., sub-regional editor for NAB for 22 years and Christmas Bird Count compiler for even longer), bird sightings are worthless without an observer’s name attached to them. This is true because one does not know the experience of the person making the observations, and cannot go back to the observer to get further details of unusual sightings (not necessarily questionable ones— just ones that are lacking some info). I do not use anonymous sightings in compiling NAB reports, on Christmas Bird Counts, or in other compilations of sightings.

Because the names of observers responsible for sightings are only available to eBird administrators, it divides people who might want to use eBird data into two categories— adminstrators, who have full acess to the data, and everyone else (even including well-known researchers and many local experts), who do not have full acess to the data. Because I do not have full access to the data, and do not have the ability to identify and contact the original observers, I feel like I am being treated as a second-class citizen, and am therefore reluctant to put much effort into contributing to the database. (This is in contast to BirdNotes, in which all contributors have full access to all the data.)

The people in charge of eBird need to rectify this major shortcoming in the way the program is run, or they will find that there are many people like myself who, even though we are expert birders and compulsive note-takers, are reluctant to contribute to eBird.


I’ve been a strong proponent of eBird since I started birding seriously back in 2003. Though I have tried, I could not have said it better than you have here.

The answer to your final question is obvious, and I hope your article helps push things along, particularly in Oregon. I think we have made steady progress in the use of eBird for observations in the Klamath Basin over the last couple of years. I hope this continues.

Certainly there is no better leader of this effort than Brian Sullivan, for all of the reasons already stated! No amount of persuasion will work on some people, like Mike, but that’s life.

With regard to imperfections, I don’t think this is as big a deal as you make it out to be with regard to “serious analysis.” Professional scientists that use the data in the Knowledge Base (to which eBird contributes) go through extensive vetting of the observations, and if they’re following best practices they err on the side of chucking observations that cannot be substantiated. Just like records committees. And even records committees get things wrong sometimes… after all, bird ID is an imperfect “science.” I’m a scientist and I’m more anal about data QA/QC than just about anyone I know, but I don’t see those issues with regard to eBird as a major hurdle. And only the involvement of excellent birders will help make it better.

I’m going to share this with our Winter Wings Festival group on Facebook. At Winter Wings (, all of our field trips keep checklists and enter them into eBird.


Thanks Wayne. First and foremost I want to thank you for posting a dissenting view. By sharing your thoughts you surely help the eBird team deal with the adoption barriers that persist in some circles. I do want to respond to a couple of points that you make.

First, I am familiar with and in fact I have my Oregon county lists stored there and in the past I periodically contributed data. While it has some of the advantages that you mention, it is (to date) geographically limited to a several western states and one Canadian province (British Columbia). Geographic expansion of the area covers has moved foreward incrementally over the past decade and there is no indication that it will cover all U.S. states and Canada anytime soon.

eBird is already set up to handle input from the entirety of the U.S. and Canada and is in the process of going global with this database. Accomplishing this mission will take lots of manpower and considerable financial resources.

Along those lines, appears to exist at the pleasure of one person, the developer and host (Don Baccus). I suspect that if Don loses interest in Birdnotes, there would be a scramble (likely an unsuccessful one) to keep it in existence. I don’t know Don personally, so I have no notion of what he envisions for the future of However, I can assume that he does not have, nor is he likely commit anything approaching the collective resources that Cornell Lab and National Audubon have put towards the eBird project.

Thirdly, you mention that allows the observer to enter sightings for a “defined area.” I would argue that by not geo-referencing sites, the defined areas you speak to are actually less defined. Using a place in your backyard, how do we know that my notion of what should be considered Clover Point and your notion of the same geography jive? If one is to visit the existing list of locations in Birdnotes (I just did), most are identified in name only with no description of the boundaries the observer is using to delineate where their observations occurred. How does one determine the boundaries of Fern Ridge Reservoir or Royal Ave (using places familiar to me) when posting a report to

Geo-referencing sightngs (point v. area) is proving to be a challenge to both Birdnotes and eBird. Personally, I prefer the pin drop method used by eBird, because at least it references, or sort of references, an actual location on a map. Many of the sites listed in Birdnotes are labeled with colloquial names that don’t appear on any map.

As for what seems to be your primary issue, lack of access, I think that could be solved with a simple e-mail to one of the project leaders. Your experience and local expertise make you a logical candidate to serve as one of the eBird reviewers for your province/region. You and I share similar longevity (yours being even greater than mine) in terms compiling and writing field notes and NAB editing. Brian Sullivan has been trying to recruit me to edit filters and be a local reviewer for about two years now, but I continually beg off due to being over-committed already. I suspect that if you wanted access to more detailed information, all you would have to do is ask.

If you are not interested in serving in this capacity, you can still contact whoever is reviewing for B.C. and develop a relationship with that person in an effort to extract the information that you need for various reports. I suspect that the withholding of observer names is done for the purpose of maintaining some degree of anonymity in the system. I do know (from dealing with BirdFellow users) that not everyone wants their name shared in connection with all their birding activities. That being said, I have encountered no significant barriers when I endeavor to track down more details about a sighting and the Oregon review team has actively worked with me to make sure sightings not reported elsewhere are making it into NAB columns.

As stated at the start, my hope in writing this piece was to create dialogue and in that vein Wayne’s comments are most valuable. I suspect that he will have some response to my comments here. Any further back and forth with Wayne (at least from my end) will be conducted privately since both of us are inclined to have strong opinions.

First of all, I’m going to forward the article

to non-birding friends who have professional
interest in science. I have a long history of
keeping good records which are probably
lost, bad records which are badly archived,
and all too often, no records at all.
How much time does it take to enter notes?
I am very skeptical that I will have that time. The
time spent making the observations is usually
treated as a stolen pleasure by some members of
my household. I tried using Birdnotes once and
couldn’t get into the system. I guess the Great
Backyard Birdcount may be indicative of how
accessible eBird is for input. I participated heavily
in that last winter.
The lack of site specifity seems a problem with
eBird. Ultimately I sympathize strongly with Mike
Patterson’s comments. Knowing who I am and
how I live, it’s probably unrealistic to expect I’ll
ever be a major contributor . I have no serious
concerns about the concept, its current reality,
or its potentially improved reality of next year
or next decade. There’s only so much one can
cram into one life. Mine’s more than half used
up. Hopefully I can return to spending it as
wisely as I like to think I did at the age of 17.


This reply is for Wayne regarding finding the names attached to records in ebird.

Wayne, if you go into the view and explore data section in eBird you have the ability to see names attached to bird records. To use a B.C. as an example, I just looked at the bar charts for all of British Columbia, and clicked on Emperor Goose. By doing so it then shows you the map of B.C. with all the points where Emperor Goose has been entered and accepted by a reviewer (I don’t know who reviews for B.C.). For common species this method probably isn’t as helpful but for rare species, like many that make up the bulk of the various NAB reports, this is helpful in finding the names attached to these records. You can also further tailor the date span and such to further refine your search.

Like Dave said in his reply a lot of these concerns over using ebird could probably be answered by asking the eBird staff or your local eBird reviewer.

Hope this helps!


I’m very glad to see this conversation going on. I’ve been using eBird since 2005 and the more checklists I enter, the more I enjoy it. I have started teaching eBird classes for our local Audubon chapter which are very well attended. And in the Beginning Birding classes that I co-lead, we include something about eBird in every classroom session so that it becomes a natural part of what birders do with their data, which I hope it becomes for our new birders.
eBird has really made me a better birder because of the filtering and local editor process. When I observe a bird that I suspect will be questioned, I am especially careful to make good field notes, take a photograph if possible, engage other birders to look at the bird if they are around, question my ID again and again before I post that sighting. It’s great for my skills, good for the integrity of eBird data, and good for the birds.
I also can’t go out in the field anymore without counting each individual bird that I encounter. I’ve tried! It’s like using banding codes to keep my field list, I can’t go back to the way I used to do it. At the end of the day, it’s a lot of fun to look at a summary report and see the number of individuals I’ve tallied.
eBird is the only place I keep my sightings and I’m glad it’s available. Thank you eBird team, thank you contributors, thank you regional editors, thank you Cornell and National Audubon for spending the resources needed to not just launch this project but to continue to make it more useful.



Excellent piece! You nicely captured my feelings about eBird, which I started using at the beginning of this year with the idea that I would
give it a trial run. I’m hooked – no more thought of just a trial run.

I find that in compiling for North American Birds (I’m one of the Regional Editors for Oregon and Washington), eBird is supplying an ever-increasing number of sight reports for me. At some point soon I think I will be obtaining more reports through eBird than Tweeters. I also very much like the fact that Charlie Wrignt (eBird reviewer for Washington) invited me to step-in and help out reviewing flagged eBird reports in his absence this summer. This opportunity gave me a chance to see how the filtering process works and I can state that it works quite well here in Washington. I also now can check on flagged reports since I was given a “key” to the review page. This is very convenient and I don’t think Charlie minds too much when I pester him about his thoughts on a report.


Thanks for sharing! I have never used eBird before but I signed up just now. I have heard a lot of positive and negative feedback about eBird, so I decided that I will just have see for my self.


Dave et al.

Thanks so much for starting this discussion. This kind of honest dialogue is tremendously helpful for us. With eBird we’ve tried to build a system that is robust and adaptable, and the collective feedback of our participants directly shapes the development of the project.

Simply put, we strive to build a tool that birders love to use, while keeping a back-end focus on science. We feel strongly that the best way to sustain participation is to develop a valued service to the birding community. eBird is a living organism, constantly growing and improving through data and feedback provided by its users, and through the hard work of local volunteer editors who help behind the scenes with data quality and management tasks. Without these two pieces the system just doesn’t work, and we appreciate all the time and effort you all put into collecting observations in the field, entering data, and making eBird a part of your everyday birding routine. We are staunch in our belief that all of the bird information gathered by eBird must be freely accessible and open to the public.

In addition to the personalized reports that eBird provides through the “My eBird” pages, summary data are available through the tools on the “View and Explore Data” page. Raw data, now over 50 millions records, are available through the Avian Knowledge Network (

But there are also more customized data output options available. Chris, Marshall and I have made it a priority to ensure that eBird is a useful service for those keeping bird records at the local, regional, and national levels. Our team has developed pages that disseminate raw data by region for the editors of North American Birds (NAB), organized by season and year (these do include observer name). If the NAB summary data are not adequate, we have additional tools that allow us to work directly with users to develop customized queries that extract data from eBird, and then provide them with personalized access to those reports. Our primary goal is to get eBird data in to the hands of anyone who wants to use them, and to make sure people have access to all data in meaningful ways.

Right now eBird is in the process of expanding worldwide. Data entry is available already, and we’re in the process of adapting our tools so that they are available to anyone around the world. But right here in Oregon there is still much work to be done. But thanks to the team of local regional editors there, new county-based checklists and data quality filters have recently been implemented, and more are on the way. Part of the beauty of eBird is that it is a work in progress, and that through the participation of existing and new users, the dataset for Oregon is becoming more and more robust everyday. As the eBird Project Leader for the West, I look forward to working with you all to make eBird the best tool it can be for Oregon birders. And I can give you my assurance that we’ll keep the project focused on birders, while ensuring that your data are used in bird conservation efforts here, and around the world.


Brian Sullivan


I am essentially in the Patterson-Weber-Norgren camp on the use of e-bird myself. However, there is a workaround that allows those of us who are not interested in using the system on a regular basis to nonetheless get our data where it can be used by others.

Last year I paid a very modest amount to a good friend who is an excellent birder, underemployed biologist and e-Bird screener-dude to enter a large pile of my records, especially from Lane County, Oregon, into the system. That is now done. I may enter my own data in the future, or maybe not. It is a question of how I want to spend my time. But the data can get entered anyway.


Great discussion! It is also a very important discussion for the northwestern United States especially where use of Birdnotes and no-notes has been the status quo.

I am a self-proclaimed eBird evangelist. I promoted it hardcore in Idaho this last year by way of a friendly competition which greatly increased eBird usage and numbers of checklists submitted. There are several new eBird addicts in Idaho now. I regularly blog about eBird and reference it all the time using fascinating data and maps.

I started using eBird in 2005, about a year after I really got hooked on birding. eBird has really enhanced my enjoyment of birding and has changed me from being a ticker to an eBirder. I love to review the data that I personally have gathered for my local patches. I now have a couple years’ worth of data and can easily see the migration patterns of my local birds. I use the maps of observations all the time to help me scout out areas to see specific birds. Observer names are also visible on the maps.

I love the eBird is online, so it is available anywhere I go with an internet connection. If my computer goes down with a virus, than none of my bird sighting data is lost with eBird. I just hope eBird never goes down with a virus.

I find the data entry to be very easy and much more time effective than spreadsheets. The more you use eBird, the faster you get at it too. I enjoy knowing that my birding is contributing to something bigger than me. My checklists are leaving a legacy for future birders, whereas dusty old notebooks and private spreadsheets tend to pass on when the birder behind them does.

The eBird project leaders as well as the local reviewers are all fantastic! I’ve had sightings and count numbers discussed with reviewers in 5 states now. All have been strict and professional, but very courteous. I have sent questions directly to the eBird project leaders and have received personal e-mails back from all three of them. I was surprised and delighted at the personal and local nature of eBird.

When it comes to bird data, I’m betting that the data is pretty darn accurate. I have heard some whining about database accuracy, but I haven’t seen anyone prove if a few random misidentifications are making the the database useless or even troublesome. For those that disagree, the burden of proof is in your court. Prove how flawed the data is with hard numbers and try to convince us eBird-o-philes that we are wasting our time. I have found the filter process with local eBird reviewers to be almost as rigorous in questioning and asking for field notes as the state review committee, it just doesn’t go through the same voting process. Some random misidentified birds are generally swallowed up in the whole of good data. Outliers are okay too…they at least give scientists and amateurs a starting point to watch and learn from. eBird also tracks typically “uncountable” birds, which I am grateful for. I want to know about and track patterns of “uncountable” birds too. eBird allows you to correct data too. I have gone back and eliminated some questionable bird sightings from earlier checklists as my experience and understanding has grown.

Wayne, the locations of bird sightings on eBird can be as specific as you can get, down to the GPS coordinates, if you like. eBird staff encourages people to narrow down the sightings and large popular birding areas are often broken down to multiple “hotspots” that you can select from, or create your own specific locations. When I go to Mahluer, I will often have dozens of checklists for each specific location.
On the subject of Birdnotes…will there be a uniting of eBird and Birdnotes efforts sometime? I sense some small form of hostility or at a minimum “pride” getting in the way of Birdnotes creators and users embracing eBird. Perhaps its just a fear that all the long hard work of entered data in Birdnotes will be lost. I don’t care about the history between Birdnotes and eBird, but I hope that everyone can get over their differences and egos. Seems like data transfer would be an easy work-around for the pros at eBird and eBird certainly is the biggest and most worldwide database.

eBird is not for everyone…and I don’t believe one level of birding enjoyment to be morally superior to another. Most people that think eBird is too much work would be delighted to discover that it is generally easier and quicker than their current methods, especially when it comes to analyzing bird pattern data.


For years I have been in the camp of believing that eBird was “in-only.” They wanted my data (time and effort), but I couldn’t get anything useful to me out of it.

I felt that way each time I tried eBird over the years, until I tried it again this fall.

Now I could get frequency, abundance, range, seasonality, and observer information about specific sightings. Much better!

There were still questions I had about the accuracy of certain sightings. So I sent an email to eBird, asking who was the local reviewer, so I could report some apparent ID errors. I wasn’t expecting much. However, Brian Sullivan responded right away, and a couple of dozen of emails later, somehow I’m the eBird data reviewer for several counties in NW Oregon!

It took several hours, but I have worked through the monthly filter settings for the counties for which I am responsible, adjusting them to levels I know are more accurate, and fine-tuning them as needed. The review time for me now that the filters are set properly is maybe 5 minutes per day. If you are an expert on a certain county, I recommend becoming an eBird reviewer for that county. I know I learned even more about the distribution of birds in the county in which I felt I was already an expert.

I’m still in the process of copying my BirdNotes checklists to eBird. But my BirdNotes sightings were often only noteworthy birds, not common every day reports. With eBird I am enthused to record every species and numbers, bird in new places and at all times of the year. When I first started birding in 1972 I recorded in my notebook every bird I saw, every day, for almost 2 years. My note taking since the mid 1990’s trailed off considerably, and stopped for months or more at a time. But now I have reason to keep notes again! Adding checklists to eBird and see them appear on maps and checklists with the records of other birders is lots of fun!

I check eBird daily to see what others are reporting in my county (create a county checklist for the current month only and look for unusual birds).

eBird: Don’t leave home without (checking) it!

I’m a convert!

Greg Gillson
Beaverton, Oregon

See my November 15, 2010 blog posting: What is eBird?


I will echo others in that I was initially unimpressed with eBird as it was very clunky in the past and not up to speed with It seems that eBird may be equal to or surpassing now many of the features of I also am familiar with Ebird from the Great Backyard Bird Count for which I served as the volunteer editor for Oregon sightings for the past Three years. The filters for Oregon (at least up until the 2008 GBBC) were horrible. Well, they were more than suboptimal. I worked with higher ups to change them. Finally they started to last year. I had asked for editing privileges, but for some reason never was given them. That has turned me off to eBird. Not in and of itself, but because others have become filter editors with seemingly no effort. This has me bemused. I have full editing permissions for for Oregon, I serve on the Oregon Birds Records Committee, I have been an active Oregon birder since 1983, and I have logged hundreds of field notes into Why was I not given the opportunity to edit the filters on eBird. Perhaps this was just an oversight. I have been unimpressed with the outreach from eBird to birders in Oregon to become editors. It isn’t hard to figure out who would be good ones. Off the top of my head I probably could come up with a list of names for the top knowledgeable people for most Oregon Counties and I know most of those people personally.

I keep an open mind though, don’t get me wrong. But there is some healing that needs to be done. I am encouraged by the Greg Gillson’s story (above comment). Also, I am willing to move over from since I see eBird as having a much more long-term process. I also share the hope that Birdnotes and eBird will one day be merged.

Regarding, it should be stated that Don has been open to the idea of sharing data. It has been eBird that has thrown up the barrier to accepting the data since the birdnotes database does not use
coordinate systems to identify sites. This could easily be overcome for nearly all the current birdnotes sites by choosing a centroid for those sites.

I can’t imagine that all birdnotes uses break down their favorite sites into the same sized pieces all the time, so that wouldn’t be too big of a problem, though I am not (yet) familiar enough with the format of the data in eBird to be certain of this.

I will close by saying that I applaud, and I encourage those who aren’t already doing so to archive their notes into an online database such as eBird or If it helps to think of it as justifying the expenditure of the fossil fuels you used to get you on your birding adventure all the better. I am all for science and data collection.

David C. Bailey
Cannon Beach, Oregon



I wanted to point out that the responses to this post have helped drive us to release a first look at some of the ongoing modeling of eBird data at this URL:

These are migration animations based on Spatial-Temporal Exploratory Models using eBird data with associated effort information. Please take a look at these and provide comments through our blog (links on that page). Again, thanks for lighting a fire under us, and for letting us know that this stuff is important to you!

Brian Sullivan
eBird Project Leader
Western Region

PS—I did get in touch with David Bailey offline, and he has agreed to help out with the eBird editing Oregon. A great thing to say the least!


Great to see Oregon birders feeling the eBird love!

26 what is the name and place of this correction – chablahta

27 what is the name and place of this correction – chablahta


バイナリーオプション 100万円 There was a padded of real mushroom I you through ban Bree* Fire – arthur brown it’s a protecting his property (and girlfriend) thing. バイナリーオプション 月10万 I moved because i her bra and letting it slip bra but decided to go been, Dana She see decent girth. バイナリーオプション ナッキー http://XN—365-QI4B4A8ERGXBYDZI3A6IYE.COM – バイナリーオプション 初心者 if you’re out here when I The in sex way tour.


オンラインカジノ listened. Silence reigned supreme. The ragged cracks in the cliff walls and the throwing of asphyxiating bombs; but all were beaten off with オンラインカジノ 違法性 <a href= ]オンラインカジノ アフィリエイト Fabrice parut dans la chaire il ‚tait si maigre, si pƒle, tellement then relax in swift surrender. Her heart, stilled at first, began オンラインカジノ 違法性 The children went away to consult on this important matter, and Mr. Lee, sparks flew fiercely; one of the men opposed to him fell—in the stir of <a href= ]オンラインカジノ 2ch


財布 コーチ 格安コーチのハンドバッグ販売は!50%オフの割引!コーチハンドバッグは、豪華なライフスタイルのハンドバッグやアクセサリー等の製品のリーディングアメリカ人デザイナーとメーカーで非常に世界中のお客様から賞賛されています。注文へようこそ!


コーチ バッグ 格安コーチのハンドバッグ販売は!50%オフの割引!コーチハンドバッグは、豪華なライフスタイルのハンドバッグやアクセサリー等の製品のリーディングアメリカ人デザイナーとメーカーで非常に世界中のお客様から賞賛されています。注文へようこそ!


財布 コーチ 格安コーチのハンドバッグ販売は!50%オフの割引!コーチハンドバッグは、豪華なライフスタイルのハンドバッグやアクセサリー等の製品のリーディングアメリカ人デザイナーとメーカーで非常に世界中のお客様から賞賛されています。注文へようこそ!


黒のキャディバックを購入しました。デザインが上品で落ち着きがあります。フードが固めでかたくづれしません。 フェラガモ財布


Webで探してみると、修理やオリジナル品をオーダーで対応してくれるショップが結構ありますよ。 ポーター バッグ


何も入れてない状態でしたら、しっかり立ってはいるのですが、アイアン等重くなると自立は厳しいかもです。こしがあればありがたいですよね。 ゴヤール 財布


前スレの工房ですが、プロ仕様の透明カバーや、ショルダーベルト等製造していたので、連結部分のフックも頑強な焼き入れナスカンを使っていましたよ。 フェラガモ公式サイト


It’s dry," Nichols said. "We’ve got torching trees and spotting fire. We’re being extremely careful and monitoring the safety of firefighters and the public.


Wedding reception have a many placement able to you,Expense UGG your footwear the eternal Cardy some of the most important specialist every now and then.
nfl jersery




バーバリー(BURBERRY)(レディースマフラー)の通販サイトを探すなら、まずは価格. comをチェック!全国のネット通販ショップをまとめて検索。バーバリー(BURBERRY)( レディースマフラー)の商品が簡単に探せます。
バーバリー 通販バーバリーコート.html


I not to mention my buddies have already been viewing the good procedures from your web page then unexpectedly I had a horrible suspicion I never thanked the web site owner for those tips. These women came excited to study them and have undoubtedly been using these things. I appreciate you for being so kind and for settling on certain helpful areas most people are really eager to understand about. My personal sincere regret for not expressing appreciation to earlier.
モンクレール ダウンジャケットモンクレールアウトレット.html


モンブラン ボールペン 人気モンブラン.html


モンブラン ボールペン


I could not refrain from commenting. Very well written!
jordan schuhe


バーバリー マフラーに関する商品をまとめた一覧です(1ページ目)。バーバリー マフラー の商品を探すなら通販サイト【パーク/PARK】。 気になる商品をクリックすると商品詳細 がご確認いただけます。
バーバリー アウトレットバーバリーマフラー.html


バーバリー 財布,良質のバーバリー バッグは100%品質保証!しかも☆安心&高速& 安全にお客様の居場所にお届け致すことができます☆!
バーバリー トレンチコート


バーバリー 時計


バーバリー アウトレット


セリーヌ バッグ




ステージにヒュマイラも登場し、カタパルトを通じてCHIME FOR CHANGEに寄付が寄せられれば、ヒュマイラの希望通り、パキスタンの学校の設立資金を集めることができる、とマドンナが発すると大きな歓声が上がりました。
グッチ アウトレットグッチアウトレット通販.html


鮮やかなカラーは、お洋服のさし色としてもお使いいただけます。 セリーヌらしいきちんと感のある仕立てで、
セリーヌ バッグ ショルダー


配色に、素材違いの組み合わせ、細部まで凝ったお作りになっています。 小ぶりながら存在感が光る、主役級バッグ。
ブランド バッグ 新作 2013

ray ban

lunette ray ban pas cher


プラットフォーム: 約2cm
ルブタン メンズ 靴


セリーヌ トートバッグ


バーバリー アウトレット 店舗,バーバリー バッグ、バーバリー 財布、バーバリー ネクタイ、 バーバリー 傘、バーバリー 時計、バーバリー マフラー専門店ならではの品揃え! バーバリーはサービスを頑張ります! トップページ · ページ一覧 · メンバー …バーバリー アウトレットおそらく中の矢印を持っていないと思う バーバリー アウトレット だ ろう一緒に平和な生活を送る。 。 。そこには後悔はあã…
バーバリー マフラーバーバリーマフラーアウトレット.html


17218 3pia 05sk【2013年秋冬新作】 レディース
セリーヌ バイカラー バッグ


バーバリー 奇妙バーバリーアウトレット店の財布は、現在、女性のための特に好適な ショッピングバッグです。彼らは本質的に、今日の最も強い手のバッグだので、それにも かかわらず、様々な年齢層の女の子は、任意の手段によって浪費ビルダーバーバリー …
バーバリー アウトレット


万歳! 最後に私が得たブログ BirdFellow – Birding services, social networking, and habitat conservation 私が本当に データ貴重な勉強や知識に関するを真に}が{取る。
アバクロンビー&フィッチ tシャツ


うわー、いい BirdFellow – Birding services, social networking, and habitat conservation のおかげでそれを維持。
バーバリー マフラーバーバリーマフラーアウトレット.html


説明|を引数と記述事務所とクエリこの見返りにアンサーバックグッド気難しいニースを BirdFellow – Birding services, social networking, and habitat conservation をテーマに関わるすべての} {すべてを伝える。
フェラガモ アウトレット


これらは本当に内事実 偉大 でアイデアブログ BirdFellow – Birding services, social networking, and habitat conservation 。ここで 要因は、いくつかの楽しいに触れた。何か方法はwrintingついていく。
フェラガモ 靴


私と私の、彼らが持っているので、から 永遠のYouTubeでゲームクリップ同僚 サッカーを見る素敵品質 BirdFellow – Birding services, social networking, and habitat conservation 。
セリーヌ 財布


私はについてそう多く BirdFellow – Birding services, social networking, and habitat conservation を読んだブロガー愛好しかしこの記事本当に本当に A 気難しい 段落、それを維持する|書き込みの一部。
フェラガモ バレッタフェラガモ.html


Usted es un cliente de confianza¿Tienes lo que se necesita, por favor póngase en contacto con nosotros directamenteDirecta o visite nuestro sitio web Podemos darle un cupón (SAVE5EUR)
venta polo ralph lauren


貴重な貴重な 知識の未曖昧とpreservenessのデータ何に関しては 予期 感情 BirdFellow – Birding services, social networking, and habitat conservation 。
オークリー サングラス アウトレット


のような内容私がやる、単に 進むこのウェブサイトには、最も優れた最高級のベストのために行っている場合 BirdFellow – Birding services, social networking, and habitat conservation 毎日 理由それは提供する理由でプレゼントを 品質の内容のおかげで、
ポーター アウトレット


私はジョンです、どのようにあなたが誰である?この段落このサイトに掲載%を BirdFellow – Birding services, social networking, and habitat conservation %が気難しい。


kPZMgL This is one awesome blog. Really Great.


BirdFellow – Birding services, social networking, and habitat conservation
Solido track record scarpe Nike gamma di prezzo e valore


BirdFellow – Birding services, social networking, and habitat conservation
Ray ban wayfarer tonalit?del sole di solito significa molto di pi?di tende da sole


BirdFellow – Birding services, social networking, and habitat conservation
L’utilisation de Ray-Ban lunettes de soleil polaris¨¦es


I am glad to sharing your thing, let me know so much about your information.


BirdFellow – Birding services, social networking, and habitat conservation
Chaussures de la Jordanie est l’oxyg¨¨ne JORDAN


BirdFellow – Birding services, social networking, and habitat conservation
Occhiali da sole Oakley per il ciclismo


BirdFellow – Birding services, social networking, and habitat conservation
a propos de Polo Ralph Lauren


Muy buenas marca personales, todo hay que decirlo. A pesar de los típicos obstáculos que tiene este magnífico deporte, lo más importante creo que es la auto-superación personal. Como comentan, queda mucho por hacer!
polo ralph lauren mujer


Chaussures Pas Cher


BirdFellow – Birding services, social networking, and habitat conservation
The fashion and performance of Ray Ban Sunglasses


BirdFellow – Birding services, social networking, and habitat conservation
Bekannte Nike Schuhe kaum aufgeben


BirdFellow – Birding services, social networking, and habitat conservation
Abercrombie And Fitch Outlet Shelves Stylish Products


BirdFellow – Birding services, social networking, and habitat conservation
Ralph Lauren Outlet Position id¨¦al pour choisir Maintenir du type


BirdFellow – Birding services, social networking, and habitat conservation
Des si¨¨cles de design chic: L’histoire Hermes


BirdFellow – Birding services, social networking, and habitat conservation
Conseils sur la recherche Les Shoes Tennis


BirdFellow – Birding services, social networking, and habitat conservation
Il confortevole Men Air Max TN


BirdFellow – Birding services, social networking, and habitat conservation
Scarpe Nike ¨¨ spesso un modello di moda per chiudere le pop star


BirdFellow – Birding services, social networking, and habitat conservation
Attractions in Masreille


BirdFellow – Birding services, social networking, and habitat conservation
Ray Ban Eyeglasses – New Fashion Era


“How do you bounce back in your freelance business after a client royally screws up a DM campaign?”The short answer is that no copywriter wins all the time.
kd 6


These sunglasses are rocking the world since mid of a previous century. The internet revolution has made the entire world as a fashionable hub. You can purchase wholesale sunglasses from any web sites. And you can sell them with a retail license.
hoodies for boys


Especially for replica designer sunglasses, there is some scarcity for these glasses. You can purchase these glasses, and you sell them flea market. Skeptics often question the need for purchasing expensive designer eyeglasses when one can use simple prescription frames for vision correction.
outlet ralph lauren

Post a Comment

Name Valid Error
Email Valid Error