June eBirders of the Month

[Note: this post has been updated to correct an error in counting lists and therefore assessing those who met the target. There are thus three birders who have reached the target, and not two as incorrectly listed earlier. Our apologies for this lapse.]

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The third in our series of monthly eBirding Challenges for birders in India was a fiendishly tough one. We asked birders to try and upload at least 5 complete listsicon_tooltip from each of 4 distinct locations. This proved to be a difficult task, and only three birders managed to meet the target!

In all, 162 birders uploaded 1,023 lists of all types in May, together accounting for 22,711 records.

The 3 eBirders of the month for June are:

Bela Arora
Ganeshwar SV
Sudhakaran KK

Many congratulations to them both!

One of the three was chosen using a computer-generated random number to receive a small gift, and that person is

Sudhakaran KK

who receives a copy of Bird Sense: What it’s Like to be a Bird by Tim Birkhead. (You can read a review here, and there is a website devoted to the book too.)

We hope the July eBirding Challenge target will be easier to meet, and we look forward to congratulating many of you for exceeding it!

Here is the full list of contributors from June 2014:

abhijith a.p.c, Abhijith surendran, abhirami-niranjana C, Able Lawrence, adit soans, Aidan & Savio Fonseca, Aishwarya Varadharajan, Akhil Kulkarni, Amal Dev.A.V, Amil Prasad, Amirtavarshini Devarajan, Amrita Singh, Anagha Bagade, Andrea Fernandes, Anish Aravind, Ankam Vishak Keerthi, Anoop King, anshuman sarkar, Aravind AM, arshad ka, arun lal, Arun Patil, Arun Simha, Arya Vinod, Ashish Gupta, Ashritha Anoop, Bela Arora, Bhagyashree Ingle, Bhakti Salgaonkar, Bhalchandra Pujari, BHAVIK PARIKH, Chandra Sekhar Bandi, chetan harikishandas joshi, chithrabhanu pakaravoor, Chris Bowden, Conrad Pinto, david stanton, Deepak Balasubramanian, Deepak Chari, Deepa Mohan, dilip kg, Dinesh K.S., Dr George P J, Dr. Utkarsh Betodkar, Eveny Luis, Ganeshwar S V, Garima Bhatia, Gary Leavens, Gopi Sundar, G Parameswaran, Graham B Langley, HARI MAVELIKARA, HARSHADA GAUNS, harsha nr, Humayun Taher, Janet Leavens, jayaprakash m t, Jitendra Talavia, J.Thomas Cheruvallil, Kavi Nanda, Kiran bagade, Krishna Girish, Kulbhushansingh Suryawanshi, Maanav Jalan, madhushri mudke, Mahesh Ghanekar, Mandar Bhagat, Manish Kumar, Manjunath R S, Manju Sinha, Mathi Thumilan, Milan Sojitra, Mohandas G, Mohith Shenoy, M V BHAKTHA, Nandkishor Dudhe, Naveen MR, Neha Waikar, Nihar Madkaiker, Ninad Thakoor, nithin mohan, omkar naik, Panchapakesan Jeganathan, Pankaj Lad, Pavan Reddy, Prabhakar Manjunath, Pradnya Karbhari, Prajval Shastri, Prakash G, prashant Dhuri, Prashanth NS, Praveen Manivannan, Premchand Reghuvaran, Pronoy Baidya, Raghurama Hegde, Rahul Matmari, Raja Simma Pandiyan, Rajesh Kalra, rajesh nayak, Rajiv D’Silva, Raju Kasambe, RAJU MENON, Rakesh arti, Raman Kumar, Ramit Singal, raphy kallettumkara, Raviprakash KB, RESHMA BHAT, Ritesh D, Robin Duska, Rohit Chakravarty, Sagar Adhurya, sahana m, Samar Gupta, Samyukth Sridharan, sandeep srivats, Saneesh C S, Sanjay Thakur, sanket warudkar, sarayu ramakrishnan, Savita Kulkarni, Selvaganesh K, Sharath Adavanne, Shariq Khan, SHASHIKIRAN PARCHAKE, SHESHGIRI BAGDE, Shivaprakash Adavanne, Shivashankar Manjunatha, Shiv kumar, Shwetha Bharathi, Siddhesh Surve, Sivakumar AK, skanda sn, Soni Nambiar, Sonu Arora, Srikanth Bhat, Srinivasa Shenoy, sudhakaran kk, Sudhanshu Kothe, sugadev sugathan, Suhel Quader, Sumesh babu, Sumin George, syed muzamil, Tallulah D’Silva, Tanya Seshadri, Tarique Sani, Thaarini Kumar, TheNatureTrust (GroupAccount), Thomas Job, Thorkild Michaelsen, TKS Thathachari, vedang saunt, vedant kumbhar, Vignesh Menon, Vijayalakshmi Rao, Viola Rodrigues, Vishnupriyan Kartha, Vivek Puliyeri, Yagnesh Desai, Yogesh Malkhare, Yogesh Parashar.

Please note that ‘group’ accounts are excluded from the eBirding Challenges. Group accounts refer to those that receive contributions from multiple people, birding separately.

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July 2014 eBirding Challenge: 10 hours for birds

challenge-logoThe Challenge for June was quite steep: upload at least five lists from each of at least four distinct locations. Were you able to meet the target? While we wait until 5 July to compile the results, here is the Challenge for July 2014.

It’s simple: spend at least 10 hours eBirding through the month. As earlier, each list should be an effort-based, complete listicon_tooltip.

Ten hours seems like a long time, but it works out to an average of only 20 min per day. Grab any opportunity to make a bird list: while waiting for a bus or train; while drinking tea on your balcony; while doing your vegetable shopping; and of course on any longer trips you make that are dedicated to birding. Don’t forget possible night-time lists for nocturnal birds! And, of course, please record any signs of breeding under Add Details–Breeding Code; and embed photo, audio and video files to make your lists richer and more memorable.

While out and about, please remember to faithfully record the time you spend looking for birds: the correct durations are important not only for the integrity of the Challenge, but also for the scientific utility of the information you upload.

One further requirement of this Challenge: please upload a minimum of 10 lists. This is easy to do. If you are on a longer birding trip, make sure you submit separate lists for each 15-min segment of your time birding. Why do we encourage this? Because multiple short-duration complete lists are more informative than a single long-duration list — they tell you how consistently a species is sighted over time.

Please upload all your July lists by 5 August so that we can announce the results on 6 August. All birders who reach this 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.

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.

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May eBirders of the Month

challenge-logoWe are delighted to announce the results of the second in our series of monthly eBirding Challenges for birders in India. The challenge for May was to upload at least 4 complete listsicon_tooltip in each week of May (counting the 21st-31st as the last week of the month).

In all, 165 birders uploaded 1,179 lists of all types in May, together accounting for 21,343 records.

The May challenge was, well, quite challenging! Only 10 eBirders met or exceeded the target. They are:

Aidan & Savio Fonseca
Anish Aravind
Arya Vinod
Bela Arora
Ganeshwar SV
Kulbhushansingh Suryawanshi
Manju Sinha
Shashank Birla
Shivaprakash Adavanne
Suhel Quader

Many congratulations to each of these eBirders of the Month for May 2014!

One of these 10 has been chosen using a computer-generated random number to receive a small gift, and that person is

Bela Arora

who receives a copy of The Big Year: A Tale of Man, Nature, and Fowl Obsession by Mark Obmascik. (You can read a review here.)

Many congratulations to all; now on to the June eBirding Challenge!

Here is the full list of contributors from May 2014:

Aashay Maldhure, abha manohark, abhirami-niranjana C, Able Lawrence, Aidan & Savio Fonseca, Aisha Sultana, Amil Prasad, Amogha KS, Anagha Bagade, Andrea Fernandes, Anish Aravind, Anita Breckbill, ANUJ TRIVEDI, Aravind AM, Arnav Anish, arun lal, Arun Simha, Arya Vinod, Asha Ram, Badri Narayanan Thiagarajan, Balaji P B, Bela Arora, Bernad Thampan, Bhagyashree Ingle, Bhalchandra Pujari, biplab Bose, Chandrasekaran Venkatraman, Chandra Sekhar Bandi, Chris Bowden, CLAREENA JOSE, Corner Tree, david stanton, David Williams, Dayani Chakravarthy, Deepak Balasubramanian, Deepak Sahu, Deepa Mohan, Delson Roche, Devendra Thakur, Dhananjai Mohan, dilip kg, Dinesh K.S., Dr George P J, DR TRIBHUWAN CHANDRA, Dr. Utkarsh Betodkar, Dr Vivek Dubey, Eamon Corbett, Fionna Prins, Ganeshwar S V, Garima Bhatia, Gautam Allamsetty, G Parameswaran, hari kumar, harsha nr, Humayun Taher, James Williams, jayaprakash m t, Jayesh Thakur, J.Thomas Cheruvallil, Kalpalata Rajan, kandy rathinasamy, Krishna Girish, Kulbhushansingh Suryawanshi, Kumar RR, madhushri mudke, Mahesh Mehendale, Manan Singh Mahadev, Mandar Bhagat, Manish Kumar, Manju Sinha, Martin Sneary, Mathew Thomas, Mayank Kohli, Michael Emenaker, Mike Prince, Milan Sojitra, Mittal Gala, Mohanram Kemparaju, Mohith Shenoy, MSSRF Bioview, Mukesh Takhtani, NANDANA V KUMAR, Naveen MR, Navneet Rathod, Nihar Madkaiker, Nishant Kulkarni, nithin mohan, Omkar Pai, Panchapakesan Jeganathan, Pankaj Lad, Peter Vrooman, P.P. SUKUMARAN, Prajval Shastri, Prakash G, prashant bhagat, Prashanth NS, Pratyush T Hazarika, Praveen es, Praveen J, praveen shenoy, Premchand Reghuvaran, Pronoy Baidya, Rachel Bourn, Raghurama Hegde, Raja Lakshminarayan, Raja Simma Pandiyan, Rajesh Kalra, Rajiv D’Silva, Rajneesh Suvarna, Raju Kasambe, RAJU MENON, Raman Kumar, Ramit Singal, raphy kallettumkara, Raviprakash KB, renju tr, Robin Duska, Sagar Adhurya, sahana m, Sam Bhagat, Saneesh C S, Sanjay Thakur, sarayu ramakrishnan, Savita Kulkarni, Shah Jahan, Sharang Satish, Shashank Birla, SHEKHAR BOPARDIKAR, SHESHGIRI BAGDE, Shivaprakash Adavanne, Shivashankar Manjunatha, Simon Tickle, Sivashankar Ramachandran, skanda sn, Soma Ateesh, Soni Nambiar, Soumya Aon, SREEHARI UTHAMAN, Sreekar Rachakonda, Srikanth Bhat, srujana k, Subbu Subramanya, Subhadra Kondreddy, sudhakaran kk, Suguna R, Suhel Quader, sujatha rangaswami, Sumesh babu, Surajit Gupta, Surya Bharanidhara, SYAMILI MANOJ, Tallulah D’Silva, Tanya Seshadri, Tarique Sani, teddy nirappaan, THE NATURE TRUST, Thomas Job, Thorkild Michaelsen, vedang saunt, Vijayalakshmi Rao, Vinay Antony, Vivek Puliyeri, Vridhi Rajan, Yagnesh Desai, Yogesh Parashar.

Please note that ‘group’ accounts are excluded from the eBirding Challenges. Group accounts refer to those that receive contributions from multiple people, birding separately.

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June 2014 eBirding: the 4×5 Challenge

challenge-logoThe eBirding Challenge for June is this:

Choose at least four distinct locations, and from each, upload at least five complete bird lists icon_tooltip during the month of June.

Why multiple locations? Because this provides information on how birds are distributed across the landscape. Any distinct locations, whether private locations or hotspots, are eligible. We encourage you to space them at least 1km apart.

Why multiple lists from each location? Because this gives a better idea of the birds found at a single spot. A single list from a location can easily miss a number of species present. Multiple lists on a single day also count (eg, two 15-min lists on 20 June are counted as two lists towards the challenge).

Please upload all your June lists by 5 July so that we can announce the results on 6 July. All birders who reach this 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.

While submitting your lists, please do consider the following (even though they are not part of this month’s challenge):

  • Specify breeding codes. If you see any evidence of breeding, please do give this under ‘Add Details’ and then ‘Breeding Code’. More about breeding codes is here.
  • Embed multimedia. If you have been able to take photos, videos or sound recordings, do embed them in the relevant species comment boxes. For a guide to embedding such files in your lists, see here.
  • Carry out night counts. Crepuscular and nocturnal species like nightjars and owls are often under-represented in our lists. If possible, try out some bird counts at night, for which you might have to hone your skills in identifying birds by sound! Even very basic audio recordings can be helpful here. You can upload them to xeno-canto or SoundCloud and embed them in your lists. Remember to keep yourself safe at night!

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.

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Pied Cuckoos are imminent!

By Koshy Koshy from Faridabad, Haryana, India (Pied CuckooUploaded by snowmanradio) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia CommonsThe wonderful and enigmatic Pied Cuckoo (Clamator jacobinus) needs your attention. As you know, Pied Cuckoos in India come in two flavours. There is a population that is resident year-round in the south of the country. But in central and northern parts, Pied Cuckoos are seen only from just before the monsoon to early winter.

Despite eBird not containing many sightings of Pied Cuckoo (only about 240 so far), this distinction between southern residents and central/northern migrants can be clearly seen from the range maps, below. (Click on the maps to see them directly in eBird.)

PiedCuckoo-eBirdMap-Dec-April
PiedCuckoo-eBirdMap-May-Nov

To collate information on the timing of migration of the central/northern Pied Cuckoos, and in particular, to investigate how arrival dates are related to the onset of the monsoon, the MigrantWatch project has been running its Pied Cuckoo Campaign every year since 2009. Now that MigrantWatch has moved to integrate more closely with eBird, you can contribute your Pied Cuckoo sightings through either website, and they will add to our collective understanding of this superb migrant.

In eBird, do remember that one-off sightings should be uploaded as ‘Incidental’, and that if you are reporting only Pied Cuckoo (and ignoring other species), your answer to the question “Are you submitting a complete checklist of the birds you were able to identify?” should be “No“.

The announcement on the MigrantWatch website is here.

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