It’s time for new beginnings, and we celebrate this with a new partnership over a long-standing project.
The Asian Waterbird Census (AWC) started back in 1987. For those of us who began birding in the 80s and 90s, the AWC was a reason to ‘bird with a purpose’. So far, counts for the AWC had to be submitted either in hard copy or through an excel template file.
This year, Bird Count India ties up with eBird, Wetlands International and BNHS to introduce online data submission through the eBird platform.
To mark this occasion, the India eBirding challenge for January 2016 is to be a part of AWC counts from at least 5 different wetlands, and submit these counts through the new AWC-eBird data upload scheme. Eligible lists will be effort-based, complete lists, of at least 15 min duration. In other words, make sure that you upload counts of all species you see (not just waterbirds), input the time taken and distance travelled, and spend sufficient time at least location, even if it’s a very small lake or pond.
How does the new AWC-eBird data upload scheme work? There is a detailed explanation here, but the main points are this:
- Choose a wetland and survey it, listing and counting all species you see. You are asked to survey each site in as complete a manner as possible, keeping track of total counts of species, while avoiding possible double-counting.
- Upload your list and counts from the wetland to eBird in the normal way. If you are new to eBird, please see this beginner’s guide. Once your count from the site has been uploaded, make a note of the link (URL) for the eBird list, which looks like this:
- The AWC asks for some extra information in addition to the counts of birds. This extra information should be uploaded through the Google AWC site information form here. While filling out this form, the most crucial piece of information is the link (URL) to your eBird list/count for that wetland. Additional information asked for are: basic information on the wetland, visit conditions, wetland characteristics, main uses and threats to the wetland.
- That is all that’s needed: for each wetland covered, upload your counts to eBird and then fill out the Google AWC site information form. This combination is eBird+AWC is new, and there is likely to be some confusion, so if you have any questions, please do ask!
Note that the recommended time window for AWC surveys this year is 9 to 24 January, but counts from any date in January are welcome and are eligible for this challenge!
Please upload all your lists by 5 February so that we can announce the results on 6 February.