January is the month of the Asian Waterbird Census, an important event in the Indian birding calendar! The AWC has been running since 1987, and we encourage everyone to take part. More details about the AWC can be found here.
Now, although the AWC has a separate reporting procedure, with national and state-level coordinators, we encourage you to upload your counts to eBird in parallel, so that this information can also contribute to a year-long database on bird distribution and abundance. In addition, although the AWC focuses on waterbirds and water-associated birds, we suggest that birders should keep note of all birds they see during an AWC count, and upload the full list to eBird.
Keeping the AWC in mind, the eBirding Challenge for January 2015 is to upload at least 15 lists from wetlands during the month. This can be 15 lists from the same wetland at different times and days; or one list from 15 different wetlands; or anything in between. For our purposes, we define wetland very broadly as any location with a reasonable amount of water, including shorelines, mudflats, lagoons, rivers, streams, lakes, ponds, marshes, swamps, and so on.
As in earlier monthly challenges, each list should be an effort-based, complete list, of at least 15 min in duration. At the end of the month, we will make all efforts to identify lists from wetlands (as defined above). But to be on the safe side, we will also put out a notice on this blog as well as on our Facebook page and group, asking you to tell us if you reckon that you have met the target — this is to make sure we don’t miss anyone!
Please upload all your January lists by 5 February so that we can announce the results on 6 February. All birders who reach the target will be named and recognized on this website. One of these names will be chosen at random to receive a small birding-related gift in appreciation.