Thursday, November 19, 2009

Birding in the Middle-of-Nowhere

The other day I posted about the eBird Site Survey. A couple other efforts eBird is making to help scientists use better citizen science include "County Birding" and "Random Locations".

"County Birding" has to do with encouraging folks to get out to the least-birded counties across the country to obtain more checklists of bird observations. You can download a list of how many checklists have been submitted for each county in each state. If you're planning a road trip, why not make a stop in one of those under-birded counties and make a 5-minute observation list?

The "Random Locations" also sounds like a lot of fun. eBird is asking that we make an effort to stop at locations that may not seem birdy and are probably not often birded. I'd call this "birding in the middle-of-nowhere".

I think I can see why scientists are asking for these random counts. The wildlife biologists that work with us on conservation efforts here at Avimor have random GPS locations across our 28,000 acres that they visit a various times of the year. They count all the plant species within a certain amount of square feet. At other random locations they count all the birds they can see or hear, then move the next random spot some predetermined distance away and repeat.

The hope of all this is to get us birders out to more locations. The more data gathered covering the most terrain possible will give scientists the best overall picture of where birds are and how they are doing. Just more reasons that all birders should be eBirders.

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