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What is eBird? It’s a real-time online checklist program that has changed how the birding community reports and uses information about birds. Launched in 2002 by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society, eBird provides basic information on bird abundance and distribution at various scales. In March 2012, participants reported more than 3.1 million bird observations across North America! This program allows the birder to record species observed on an online checklist and then to share the sightings with a global community. The information collected from this checklist gives scientists and birders alike the opportunity to contribute to science and education. Remember, many important initiatives for bird conservation were started as a result of local birders noting declines in songbirds. The eBird initiative allows us to document and share our knowledge in a much broader more dynamic scale. Many of us are spending more time at home than ever before, longingly looking out the window. But that window, porch, yard, or garden isn’t just something to stare longingly through, it can be your ticket to the best show in town. No matter where in the world you are there is something to see from just outside your door—birds! Forget the television, birds are endlessly entertaining. By spending 5 minutes or more watching the happenings in your yard or garden you’ll get all the gossip, a free concert, and you might even be able to see your feathered neighbors build a nest and raise their young. We encourage every eBirder to take our free eBird Essentials course. Learn how to better keep track of your sightings and contribute more valuable information to science. Even veteran eBirders may discover something new! There are 10,721 species of birds in the world, and we guarantee that some of those can be found near, or even from, where you live. Start tracking the birds seen or heard from your window, balcony, garden, or yard on eBird – how big can your home birding list get?

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