July 24, 2010

A reader named Mary Ludwick wrote today to introduce us to a fabulous resource for anyone interested in birds and birdwatching - eBird.org.

According to the information on the website, eBird.org is a real-time, online checklist program… (that) has revolutionized the way that the birding community reports and accesses information about birds. Launched in 2002 by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society, eBird provides rich data sources for basic information on bird abundance and distribution at a variety of spatial and temporal scales.

Although it is designed specifically as a place for birdwatchers to report their sightings, this is also a rich source for educators and families to use with kids because it enables you to find out which birds to look for in which months of the year. If you combine this resource with the bird identification aids at Birding.com, you will soon be seeing and identifying birds that you never even knew were residents of your neighborhood! Kids who are excited by birdwatching can report their observations and help build scientific knowledge about the bird population in their communities. Check out this story about eBird’s June "Birder of the Month," a young father who juggles home, work and time with his three-year-old son, and integrates all these activities with his passion for bird watching.

In the Gulf Coastal area, bird watchers are using the site to help NOAA track sightings of birds injured by the oil spill. They are building this body of information in order to help to steer beach protection and clean-up efforts to the sites with the greatest concentrations of birds and most important habitats. So many citizens wonder what they can do in the face of the massive environmental crisis - here is a valuable way to contribute if you live in that area of the country.

Thanks, Mary Ludwick, for building our bird knowledge on SeymourSimon.com!




Posted by: Liz Nealon

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