We are delighted to announce a new kind of birding challenge this month — to fill birding gaps.
The understanding of Indian avifauna is limited by the lack of knowledge of distribution and seasonality of Indian birds. This is also reflected on eBird, where large parts of India remain under-represented or are completely unbirded! 110 districts have no eBirding data whatsoever and, of the remaining, almost 150 districts have seen less 2 hours of eBirding in all.
When one views each month in isolation, the lack of coverage is even more obvious. In November, for example, while 34 districts have over 100 hours of birding, 305 districts have 0 minutes of birding!
(Note: The total number of districts in India, as represented on eBird, is 641. This is based on the 2011 Census of India. Since 2011, over 40 new districts have been added/split off, but these don’t yet reflect in eBird.)
The Gap-filling Challenge aims to fill these gaps both spatially and temporally. For November, the median duration of birding in Indian districts is 30 minutes, that is, half of all districts have less than 30 eBirding minutes in November (of all previous years combined).
The Gap-filling Challenge this month is to upload a minimum of 4 complete checklists of at least 15 minutes duration each from one or more of the districts from the list of 326 districts that have 30 minutes or less of birding represented on eBird for November.
Please upload all your lists by 5 December so that we can announce the results the next day. All birders who complete the challenge will be recognised and named on this website. One of the birders will be chosen at random to receive a small birding-related gift in appreciation.
Also check out the monthly eBirding Challenge for November, as well as the Patch Birding Challenge, the eBird-India Data Challenge and the yearlong challenges as well! You can keep track of fresh lists coming in from India at this page.