After a rather straightforward challenge for October, the November challenge requires attention to three points:
- at least 15 birdlists in the month, each of which should be an effort-based, complete list, of at least 15 min in duration
- all these lists must be from the same location in eBird (either a hotspot or personal location)
- the lists should contain counts (numbers) of each species seen, in other words, no ‘X’s.
Let’s break down each of these points. Why 15 lists, and why not just one or two, whenever you go birding to a nice place? The answer is that birds are everywhere, and not just at prime birding locations. Common and widespread species deserve our attention and admiration just as rare and unusual ones do! So let’s look for birds at all times, rather than on special occasions.
Why at the same location? Winter is upon is, and this is of course a great time to explore a number of wonderful habitats and search for a diversity of species, resident and migrant. We don’t mean to discourage you from visiting many locations during the month — far from it! However, even while you explore, please don’t forget the birds at everyday places: your home or office or campus, or a nearby park or wetland. Repeated birding at the same location helps fill in seasonality charts and yields rich information on the birds of your area.
Finally, why counts of birds? Isn’t it enough to say that I saw Northern Pintails at Chilika Lake, and indicate this in my eBird list as an ‘X’? But in fact, if you think about it, it makes quite a difference if there were 2 pintails or 200, or 2000. Similarly for any other species we see. So simply reporting ‘X’ (meaning the species was present) discards very valuable information about how many were there. Here is more information on why counting individual birds adds tremendously to the value of your lists.
If you are able to explore several birding spots during the month, please do! But at the same time, please try and do a regular 15-min list through the month at your home, office, campus, or any location you can easily visit. You can do multiple such lists in a single day, so the target should helpfully be quite reachable!
Please upload all your lists by 5 December so that we can announce the results on 6 December. 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.