eBird approaches 100 million records

by eBird on July 10, 2012

We are rapidly approaching a new benchmark in eBird – our 100 millionth bird observation! As of 8:13AM EDT on 10 July 2012 we have 97,987,797 observations. July and August are typically the months with the lowest levels of eBird participation so we hope the countdown to 100 million will encourage eBirders to spend a bit more time in the field the summer. In the coming weeks we will run a few features that showcase why we think the summer months offers some of the most exciting birding. In celebration, we’ll award two prizes: one for the person who submits the 100,000,000th observation; and another for a checklist drawn at random from now until the 100,000,000th observation comes in. Only complete checklists reporting all species will be considered. The more checklists you enter, the more likely you are to win! The prizes will consist of a gift from each member of the eBird Team – Chris Wood, Brian Sullivan, Marshall Iliff, Jeff Gerbracht, Tim Lenz, Tom Fredericks, Will Morris, and our Director Steve Kelling. Trust us. They will be fun.

Exactly what is an eBird “observation”? We sometimes also refer to these as “records”. Each species reported on a checklist counts as a single observation.  For instance, Lynette Muller’s checklist from Rocky Ford State Fishing area in Riley County, Kansas, on 1 July 2012 contained 29 species. Each of these species represents a single eBird observation even though she saw 12 Indigo Buntings, 6 Dickcissels, and 1 Carolina Wren.

Checklists and Observations by Month

The number of observations has been growing at a fairly consistent rate since we released the second version of eBird in 2005 – roughly 30 – 40% per year. Note the dip in participation in July and August and the steady increase from September through April and May. We admit that July and August are hot and muggy in much of the US — but these months also provide excellent opportunities for discovery, and have proven to be excellent months for finding rare birds.

We hope to make this July and August our biggest summer months ever. Help us reach 100 million observations, and submit your bird observations today!

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