Over the past few months, we have alternated between relatively easy and more difficult challenges. Last month’s challenge was a fairly easy one for regular birders: to upload at least 20 complete lists. The list of birders meeting this target will surely be a long one!
Which means that it’s time for a more difficult challenge. The September challenge is all about sharing. But this is sharing in the eBird sense, not the Facebook sense!
When you go birding with your friends, and then upload the list of species seen, you can then ‘share’ the list with those who were on the trip, and then the list of species gets copied into each person’s account (so there is no need for each person to upload their list separately). Once shared, each person can tailor the list specifically to what s/he saw — deleting missed species, and adding species that others may not have seen. In this way, everyone on the trip can keep a faithful record of what they saw.
Note that you should only ‘share’ a list with those who were birding with you! To just show the list to someone else, copy and paste the unique link, which looks like this http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S24548303 . Note how you can click to see each individual person’s list. More details about checklist sharing are here.
With that background, on to the September challenge, which is to be part of at least 3 separate birdlists, each of which is shared among at least 8 people who went birding together. Note also that the 3 lists should be from different days.
For example, if I go birding with 7 other people on the 6th, 13th and 20th of Sept; and each time the list is shared among all of them, then I’ve met the target.
As with most of our challenges, to qualify for this, lists must be effort-based, complete, and of at least 15 min in duration. But do remember that the lists must be ‘shared’ (and must be ‘accepted’ into the other accounts) for them to be eligible. In bullets:
- Go birding with at least 7 other people
- Have one person in the group upload the list of birds seen to eBird
- Ask that person to ‘share’ the list with all others who were in the group (each person will get an email; if they don’t already have an eBird account, they will be invited to create one)
- All others must accept the shared list into their account
- Repeat steps 1-4 on at least 3 different days in September
(If this explanation isn’t clear, please drop us a line in the comments, below!)
Birders at Yamuna Khadar, Delhi. Photo by Tapas Misra.
How to go about this challenge?
If you belong to a birding group that goes out regularly, it shouldn’t be hard to meet the target. Make sure everyone has an eBird account, and at the end of each birding session one person can upload the list and then share with all others in your birding party. Each person can then edit their copy as described above.
Or, if you are part of a natural history or conservation organization, even though not focussed on birds, you could get your colleagues together for some birding sessions. Remember that you need not necessarily go someplace far for such a session — anywhere that you can see and hear birds is fine!
Finally, do consider inviting your family and friends for a few birding parties: anyone is welcome to set up an eBird account. Such a social event is also good way to get children interested in birds.
Please upload all your lists by 5 October so that we can announce the results on 6 October. All birders who reach the target will be named and recognized on this website. One of these names will be chosen at random to receive a small birding-related gift in appreciation.
Bonus challenge: largest shared list
In addition to the main challenge, described above, here is a bonus: every person on the largest shared checklist during the month of September will receive a small token prize. Largest is not counted in terms of number of species; but rather in terms of the number of people who went birding together and with whom the birdlist is shared. Again, eligible lists will be complete, effort-based, and 15 min or more in duration.
Here are the general rules of our monthly challenges. You can keep track of fresh lists coming in from India at this page.
Important. if you are new to eBird, please read this description first, and do take a look at the Beginner’s Guide.