Our eBird online checklist program is racing toward a major landmark—100 million bird observations. We’re only about a half-million observations away, and while that may sound like a lot, the pace of contributions is so fast that we’ll probably pass the milestone in late August.
If you already use eBird, or if you’re interested in using the program to keep track of your sightings and help scientists, we encourage you to go birding and then enter what you see. As a bit of extra incentive, and to celebrate the achievement, we’ll award prizes to two people: the person who submits the 100,000,000th observation; and another for a checklist drawn at random from now until the 100,000,000th observation comes in. To be eligible, your checklist will need to include all the species you observed and were able to identify. But the more checklists you enter, the more likely you are to win!
What exactly is an “observation” according to eBird? Each species reported on an eBird checklist counts as one observation, no matter how many you see. So if you saw a sky full of Snow Geese as in the photo above, that would count as one eBird observation. If you also saw a Song Sparrow, a Northern Pintail, and a Red-winged Blackbird and entered them into eBird, those would count as three additional observations toward our 100,000,000 goal.
And the prizes? They’re something of a mystery, but the eBird team promises they’ll be great. To keep things fun and personal, each member of the 8-person team—Chris Wood, Brian Sullivan, Marshall Iliff, Jeff Gerbracht, Tim Lenz, Tom Fredericks, Will Morris, and director Steve Kelling—will choose a small gift to include in the prize. “Trust us,” they said, “They will be fun.” See the eBird team’s post for more details.
(Image: Snow Geese by TheWorldThroughMyEyes via Birdshare.)