How 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!