eBirding challenges 22

challenge-logoHow often do you go birding in a year? How many species do you see each month? In an entire year? Keep track of all this and more by using eBird to record your birding trips and sightings. Take the eBirding Challenge to keep track of your own sightings and help document India’s birds at the same time! Here are all updates on these challenges.


The Bird Count India partnership started a monthly series of eBirding Challenges on 1 April 2014. In 2015, we also started a yearlong set of challenges. The purpose of this series is to encourage each of us to keep track of the birds we see, and to do so as frequently as possible. Why is this important? Despite the expanding interest in birding and bird photography in India, relatively little is known about the distribution and abundance of our bird species. By keeping a regular eye out, we can all help better document the status and changes of our birds. But it’s also great fun!

These birding challenges are run through the online bird listing platform eBird, and are meant to supplement annual birding events like the Great Backyard Bird Count. Every month, there will be a goal or target to meet. These goals are framed, not in terms of species, but in terms of lists. When you upload a complete list of species from a birding session, you have not only specified what species you did see, but also what species you didn’t. Aggregated across many birders, in different locations and seasons, these lists are invaluable to understand bird distributions, movements and populations.

For examples, see the distribution map for Rosy Starling, or the seasonality chart for the same species. These maps and charts for Indian species are incomplete, because they are based on very little information — let’s try and fill in the gaps!


What lists count?

To count towards this challenge, your lists should be complete (ie, you report all species you have been able to identify), they should be effort-based lists (eg, ‘Travelling’ or ‘Stationary’, not ‘Incidental’), and should be based on a birding session of at least 15 min. If you are unfamiliar with some of these terms, please take a look at our Beginner’s Guide to eBird first.



All birding challenges of this nature operate on a grounding of trust and complete honesty. Your lists, as well as the accompanying details, are taken to be correct to the best of your knowledge. Please don’t be tempted to mark an incomplete list as complete, or in any other way compromise the integrity of the information you upload. Doing so does a disservice to yourself and the entire birding community, as also to the birds we all love and enjoy. Thank you!

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22 thoughts on “eBirding challenges

  • Padmini Raghavan

    I shall have to get together a team as it is not safe to go out birding alone.
    Hope to make it happen.

    • admin

      Not at all! Just register to use ebird.org and upload your lists there. At the end of each month we will count up the lists from each participant and announce the results.

  • Anupama Mandi

    I’m a birder monitoring the rock chat movement for the past few years. An observation – I used to live in Shankar Vihar, an armed forces residential enclave near the Aravalli biodiversity park. While I could see the presence of the rock chat there during the years 2005 – 2008 frequently, the moment additional development started there with vast areas taken up for construction, I found the rock chat status changing from frequent sighting to rare to almost non existent now – ( the metro has also invaded the area now). But now living in Dwarka, with rampant ongoing construction surrounding my apartment plus the arterial road and traffic, yet, I found the rock chat frolicking around in full glory, lovely and varied song and display of territorial instincts. Well, happiness does come in small packages! Are there any theories for these occurrences? While Shankar Vihar still boasts of dwindling vast areas of wilderness, Dwarka is thoroughly urbanised and finding the Rock chat presence amidst concrete waste and debris is amazing.

    • Bird Count India

      Hello Ma’am. This is very interesting — that a species which appears sensitive to disturbance in one place seems fine with such disturbances in another. It might be worth discussing with other birders in Delhi to see what their observations have been. To reach them you could post to the Delhibird group on either yahoo or facebook. Happy birding!

  • vijayaraghavan

    Iam an occasional bird watcher and would like to join eBirding challenge so as to contribute whatever little I could from September 2015 onwards. Advices are welcome.

    • Bird Count India

      Hello Sir, thanks for your message. Can you tell us what city/town you live in? Perhaps the best way would be to get in touch with a local birding group?

        • Praveen J

          If you could write to me offline, I can put you in touch with active birders in Kannur – there are several and Malabar Natural History Society is very active there.
          paintedstork AT gmail DOT com

  • vijayaraghavan

    Dear Praveen, Iam an occasional bird watcher only. Anyway I feel I can cotribute what little I can to the eBirding challenge. My mobile no. is 9400509801. Thank you.