Since it was launched in 2002, eBird has been providing birders with an easy way to keep track of their sightings and the satisfaction of knowing that their sightings will be contributing to the knowledge of bird distributions and occurrences.
Broad adoption of eBird by birders has been relatively quick with over 100,000 lists submitted from across the country during January. Pennsylvania has typically been high in the rankings of lists submitted per state because of our large and active birding community.
I made up a few quick graphs to show eBird use where I bird the most- Centre County. The first graph I made is the number of species reported to eBird during each year starting in 1990. Since eBird was only launched in 2002, any numbers before then are from people entering their historical records and so I wasn’t surprised to find low totals before the launch of eBird.
What is interesting about this graph is that it only took 2 years before birders started entering their lists frequently. By 2007, over 200 species were reported in Centre County and the yearly total has been climbing ever since. This slow climb is largely a result of more people contributing to lists to eBird.
The second graph shows the number of species reported by month. These numbers are for all years combined. We’ve managed to report over 100 species in each month which is pretty good. I think the most interesting part of the chart is that fact that 205 species have been reported during the month of May. The total species reported in May is 89.9% of the birds seen in all of 2010. If there is one month to go birding around here, it is definitely May. On the other end of the spectrum is February. With only 103 species reported during the month, we are currently entering what looks like the doldrums of the Centre County birding year.
i hope you enjoyed these graphs and I encourage you to start reporting all your lists to eBird. Even if you start small with just your backyard birds, every bit helps us better understand birds and their patterns.