Tech: Submitting sightings to eBird using Birdlog

I've been entering my bird sightings into eBird since I started birding back in 2006.  I found it was an easy way to log and track all my sightings while also benefitting science.

However, I always ran into a couple of problems:

  • Sitting down and entering my sightings into eBird could be frustrating since I had to manually enter everything I had already written down previously in my journal.  Entering the location, time, and all the sightings could take 5-10 minutes per location.  If you had visited a half dozen locations, entering those sightings could take 30+ minutes.
  • All that required time led me to ignore sightings that I didn't feel were worthwhile or didn't include some sort of sighting that would boost one of my many lists.
  • To save time, I would just select the closest eBird Hotspot (within reason) and enter the sightings for there, instead of creating a new spot.  Even worse, I frequently entered a sighting just using the city or county function, which really didn't benefit science at all.
Fast forward a few years and I discovered the Birdlog app for iPhone.

Now, when I arrive at a birding location, I just open the app and can either quickly select the Hotspot by GPS if it already exists or quickly create a new one within a minute or two and begin birding.

If the birding is slow or I am checking out a pond/marsh/mudflat I will usually enter the sightings as I go.  If the birding is good and I don't want to miss something, I just enter the sightings every 5-10 minutes and then go through it adding to the list and finalizing the totals at the end or when there is a chunk of downtime.

Paul Hurtado at the Mostly Birds Blog has some great tips on using Birdlog.

Birdlog has resulted in my eBird sightings becoming far more accurate and useful while allowing me to spend more time watching birds and less time reporting them.

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