An avid birder for 40 years, I have generally shunned the traditional habit of creating life or regional lists to document my success; rather, I simply record the date and site of "first sightings" in my field guides; of course, various posts in this blog also document many of my encounters. And though I regularly participate in seasonal songbird and waterfall counts, sponsored by local nature centers or national conservation organizations, I have not personally contributed to the collection of data on avian populations.
Having become familiar with eBird, based at Cornell University, I have decided to join their effort to compile information on bird populations across the globe. Taking in data from birding groups and individual birders, they are monitoring the health and range of each species, thereby documenting the effects of human activity and helping to determine what conservation policies might be most effective.
My plan is to focus on three birding hotspots that I visit on a regular basis: South Platte Park in Littleton, Colorado, Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area near Columbia, Missouri, and Longboat Key off Sarasota, Florida. Having established an account with eBird, I will file a bird sighting report after each visit to these sites. Those interested in this program, which also provides records of rare bird sightings and report filings from across the globe, are encouraged to visit https://ebird.org