How to use eBird
What is eBird?
eBird is a community science database where people around the world upload records of birds they observe. This database is incredibly useful for scientists studying birds and tracking changes in bird populations. It also allows birders to see which species can be found around them at different times of the year, and to keep track of which birds they themselves have seen. Whether you submit a checklist or use the website to learn about birds near you, it's a great resource!
How to submit a checklist:
Step 1: Create an eBird account. This can be done for free in under ten minutes: https://ebird.org/home.
Step 2: Download the eBird app from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology onto your smart phone. If you don't have a smart phone or don't want to download the app, you can submit your checklists to eBird through your account on your computer. The advantage to using the app is that you can track birds as you see them, instead of having to write them down and upload them later.
Step 3: Ready to start birding? Start your checklist. The eBird app might first download a "Bird Pack" of the list of species that are likely to be in your area. As you see birds, search for the species and type in the number of that species that you've seen. You can keep updating this throughout your birding session. If you’re not sure how many of a species you saw, feel free to make a rough estimate. Even if you couldn’t identify every single bird you saw, that’s okay! Submit as many as you are confident about.
Step 4: Once you're done birding, click the “submit” button. You'll need to add some information. To pick a location, you can type in your exact location or you can search for it on a map. *Note: If you’re uncomfortable with revealing your exact location, feel free to select a point somewhere else nearby and label it with a less specific location name.
Next, pick how you birded. If you saw a couple birds while bringing in the mail, pick “Incidental.” If you purposefully looked for birds but stayed in roughly the same place, pick “Stationary.” If you were moving while birding, select “Travelling.” Log what time you began birding, how long you birded for, and who you birded with.
If you have photos, we would love to see them! You can add them after submitting your checklists by clicking “Add media” while viewing your checklist. Note that you can only upload media from your eBird account on your computer, not through the app.
Step 5: Share your checklist. If you birded with other people, you can add their eBird username or email and share the checklist with them. If someone shared a checklist with you and you didn't see some of the species on the list, you can click on "remove this species" and it will remove the species just from your version of the checklist, not theirs.
Getting the most out of eBird:
Take a look at eBird's Rules and Best Practices to answer your questions about what kinds of records to include in your checklist.
Watch instructional videos about how to understand your personal eBird data and explore global eBird data.