Data migration to eBird – Part 1: Why
Since 2007, MigrantWatch has brought together hundreds of birders across India to pool our observations of migratory birds. Over the years MigrantWatchers have collectively contributed more than 30,000 observations — a commendable effort indeed!
in the future, we’d like to make it more enjoyable and easy to share bird sightings. We’d also like to make the information contributed as valuable as possible for research and conservation. In order to achieve these goals we need to transition to the next level. This is where eBird comes into the picture.
eBird has a lot to offer for the birdwatcher, for example:
- a global, birder-friendly platform – eBird is used by tens of thousands of birders across the world to maintain their birding lists. It currently holds millions of bird records and is very easy to use.
- a comprehensive database for your observations – When you go out birding you watch all birds, and not just migrants. eBird enables you to upload complete lists of the birds you saw during a particular trip. This means you have the convenience of keeping a full record of all your birdwatching sessions at one place.
- exciting features to enhance your birdwatching experience – eBird makes it easy to upload your birding lists, allows you to explore your records through exciting visualizations, helps you maintain your life lists and makes sharing your bird lists very simple. You can also embed photos, videos or sound files to accompany each sighting. What’s more, you can use a smartphone app to submit data to eBird.
- higher quality data for research and conservation – Complete lists, as encouraged by eBird, provide information on not only which species are present, but also about which ones are absent. This kind of information is of greater value than presence-only information. The data on eBird is also ported up to the Avian Knowledge Network and the Global Biodiversity Information Facility, through which anyone can explore and download all the data.
- increasing use in India – over the past 1.5 years, birdwatchers in India are increasingly using eBird to maintain their birding records and to run bird projects. eBird in India is administered by the Bird Count India partnership, of which MigrantWatch is a member, together with a large number of other Indian groups. Currently, over 1.7 million bird observations have been uploaded by Indian birders, thus making eBird the largest database on birds of India.
As you know, MigrantWatch has been partnering with eBird since 2013 and we have been encouraging you to upload your observations through eBird. A large number of MigrantWatchers have now completely moved to eBird to log their observations. Our next step is to migrate the entire MigrantWatch data to eBird during which all your MigrantWatch observations will be safely transferred to the eBird database and to your account in eBird.
As part of this exercise you would be required to do a few simple things to transfer your MigrantWatch records to eBird, which are described in Part 2 of this post: How.