Unlocking the Power of eBird App for Birders Everywhere

Birdwatching can be an immersive and rewarding experience, but it becomes even more fulfilling when you can contribute to a global conservation effort. The eBird app, a comprehensive birdwatching tool, is designed to help you not only record and explore bird sightings but also make a difference in the world of bird conservation. In this blog post, we will guide you through the many features of the eBird app, from getting started and navigating its interface to enhancing your birdwatching experience and connecting with the global birdwatching community.

Key Takeaways

  • Explore the eBird app to record bird sightings, explore hotspots and contribute to conservation research.

  • Customize checklists with location, date, species notes & photos for saving and sharing data.

  • Connect with a global community of birders through events such as Global Big Day or Great Backyard Bird Count & share your experiences in order to aid conservation efforts.

Exploring the eBird App

Credit: eBird  ebird.org

The eBird app, developed by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, is the only app that offers a seamless and convenient way to record bird sightings, explore birding hotspots, and contribute to bird conservation research. The app allows users to create checklists of observed birds, making it an invaluable resource for monitoring bird populations and tracking migration patterns.

The eBird mobile app empowers birders to:

  • Input data effortlessly while out in the field, even without an internet connection

  • Record sightings whether you’re birding at your local park or in a remote location

  • Contribute valuable data to the eBird platform

Imagine the thrill of spotting rare birds and being able to share that information with birders worldwide!

Getting Started with eBird

You can initiate your journey with the eBird app by following these steps:

  1. Download the eBird app from the Apple iTunes Store or Google Play.

  2. Once installed, sign in with your existing eBird account or create a free account if you’re new to eBird.

  3. With your account set up, you can now start recording bird sightings during your birding sessions.

  4. The eBird app utilizes GPS to ascertain your location, ensuring accurate data input.

Kick off a checklist by tapping “Start Checklist” at the screen’s bottom after setting the date and time. You can then record your sightings, selecting from various checklist protocols such as Traveling, Stationary, and Incidental. Be sure to review your location before submitting your checklist to ensure accuracy.

Although the eBird app’s interface may seem a bit outdated, it is designed for more experienced users, and with a little practice, you’ll find it easy to navigate. The eBird Mobile Explore feature is particularly useful for planning your birding activities, as it provides essential data such as the last reported times and locations of species, as well as navigation directions to expedite your journey.

Despite its clean design, the eBird app would gain from a refresh to bring its aesthetic up to date. Nevertheless, the app’s functionality and wealth of features make it an indispensable tool for birders looking to enhance their birding experience and contribute to conservation research.

Enhancing Your Birdwatching Experience

nature, sky, outside

The eBird app goes beyond simply recording bird sightings; it also enhances your birdwatching experience by providing personalized checklists and hotspot exploration tools. These features allow you to create custom checklists based on your location and birdwatching preferences, making it easier than ever to keep track of your sightings and discover new species.

While maintaining a list in the field poses a challenge for birders, eBird simplifies the process of recording sightings, eliminating distractions. So whether you’re observing birds at your backyard bird feeder or venturing into the wild, the eBird app is an invaluable resource that will help you enhance your birdwatching experience.

Customized Checklists

The eBird app makes the creation of personalized checklists straightforward. Simply follow these steps:

  1. Ensure that you are logged in to your eBird account.

  2. Navigate to the ‘My eBird’ page.

  3. Select the ‘My Checklists’ option.

  4. Click on the checklist you wish to edit.

  5. Customize it with filters such as location, date, and species.

Apart from recording your bird observations and creating bird records, you can also add notes and photos to your checklists, making them even more personalized and informative.

Once you have customized your checklists, you can save and share them with other birders, as well as export your checklists to other platforms.

Hotspot Exploration

Exploring birding hotspots is an exciting way to discover diverse bird populations and plan your birdwatching adventures. The eBird app’s Hotspot Explorer feature allows you to search for nearby hotspots or explore hotspots worldwide, making it easy to find popular birding areas and record your sightings.

The eBird app offers a wealth of data for birders, including:

  • Recent sightings

  • Species checklists

  • Bar charts which identify seasonal abundance from each hotspot

  • Hotspot explorer feature that enables you to plan birdwatching trips handily and optimizes your chances of spotting intriguing new bird species.

Contributing to Conservation Research

The eBird app is primarily designed to supply data for conservation research. By recording your bird sightings and submitting them to the eBird platform, you are contributing valuable information to the world’s largest biodiversity-related citizen science project. This data helps researchers and conservationists track bird populations, migration patterns, and habitat changes.

The Recorder Method in eBird enables users to quickly log their bird sightings on their mobile device and submit them to the database. This means that your contributions have a direct impact on global conservation efforts, helping to preserve bird populations and their habitats for future generations to enjoy.

Data Collection and Submission

Upon submitting a sighting to the eBird app, you have the option to add additional details like the number of individuals seen and any behaviors observed. The ‘Quick Entry’ feature in the app facilitates species identification by providing suggestions based on location and time of year.

Gathering evidence such as detailed field notes, photos, and audio recordings is essential to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the data submitted to the eBird app. This data can then be utilized for scientific research, education, and conservation initiatives, making your contributions to the eBird platform truly impactful.

Global Impact

The data collected through the eBird app serves as a valuable resource for researchers and conservationists, as it contributes to the world’s largest biodiversity-related citizen science project. This data helps to track bird populations, migration patterns, and habitat changes, thereby aiding in the preservation of bird populations and habitats.

Your use of the eBird app and the submission of your sightings make a tangible contribution to worldwide bird conservation efforts. Your data provides vital insights into bird populations, migration patterns, and habitat changes, helping to inform research and conservation initiatives worldwide.

Integrating eBird with Other Apps

Integrating eBird with other applications provides birders with the opportunity to further enrich their birdwatching experience and optimize data management. The eBird app can be linked to other Cornell Lab projects, including Project FeederWatch, NestWatch, and Bird Academy, allowing users to access the app to identify birds and save bird lists after logging in.

The integration of eBird with the Merlin Bird ID app allows users to identify birds seamlessly, thereby simplifying the recording and sharing of sightings.

In addition, data from eBird can be exported and shared openly to other platforms, including Google Sheets, Excel, and CSV files, further enhancing the birdwatching experience and data management capabilities.

Merlin Bird ID Integration

The Merlin Bird ID app is designed to help birders quickly and accurately identify birds they encounter. By integrating the Merlin Bird ID app with eBird, users can access Merlin’s identification features directly from the eBird app, simplifying the sighting recording process and improving the birdwatching experience.

The Merlin Bird ID icon in the eBird app provides additional information about a bird, including images and songs, without exiting the eBird app. This seamless integration makes it even easier to record sightings and share the data with the scientific community for research, education, and conservation purposes.

Exporting Data to Other Platforms

Exporting data from the eBird app to other platforms is a convenient way to manage your birding data and access additional features. To export data to other platforms, follow these steps:

  1. Log in to your account on the eBird website.

  2. Access the ‘My eBird’ section.

  3. Locate the ‘Download my data’ option.

  4. This will generate a spreadsheet containing all your personal eBird data.

  5. The spreadsheet can then be imported into other platforms or applications.

By exporting your eBird data to other platforms, you can take advantage of additional features and community engagement opportunities. For example, you can import your data into Birda, an engaging in-app experience for the global birdwatching community, allowing you to post sightings, share photos, discuss sightings, ask questions, and learn from fellow birders.

Overcoming Challenges and Improving Your eBird Experience

Though the eBird app proves invaluable for birders, it comes with its own set of challenges. The interface for both the website and the app can be difficult to understand initially, leading to potential frustration.

However, eBird, a global online database, offers offline capabilities, allowing users to continue their birding activities and log all the birds they encounter even in areas with no internet connection.

To further enhance your eBird experience and overcome any challenges, the app provides a range of tutorials, resources, and courses to help users understand how to utilize the app and optimize their birding experience. These resources can be accessed by visiting the eBird website or by downloading the eBird app.

Offline Functionality

The eBird app’s offline functionality allows you to:

  • Continue birdwatching and recording your sightings

  • Access the app even when you don’t have an internet connection

  • Use the app in remote areas where internet connectivity might be limited

This feature, which includes GPS enabled location plotting, is particularly useful for birders who frequently bird in remote locations, as it allows them to easily manage their bird packs and observe a particular bird.

For offline use of the eBird app, launch the app and record your sightings as you would normally do. Instead of submitting your checklist immediately, select ‘Close’ to save it on your phone until you have an internet connection available.

Once you’re back online, you can access your stored checklists and submit them to the eBird platform, ensuring that your valuable data is still contributed to global conservation efforts.

Utilizing Tutorials and Resources

A variety of tutorials, resources, and courses are available on the eBird app to help maximize its utility and resolve any challenges encountered during its use. These resources include:

  • Webinars

  • Online courses

  • eBird Quick Start Guide

  • eBird Mobile App Guide

  • eBird Identification Guide

By utilizing these tutorials and resources, you can gain a better understanding of the eBird app and how to use it efficiently. This will not only help you overcome any initial challenges, but also ensure that you are correctly identifying birds and contributing valuable data to conservation research.

Connecting with the Birdwatching Community

Beyond being a tool for recording and exploring bird sightings, the eBird app serves as a platform connecting you with a global community of birdwatching enthusiasts. By participating in events and sharing your sightings, you can engage with fellow birders and foster connections and collaborations within the birdwatching community.

Birdwatching can be a solitary hobby, but through the eBird platform, you can form connections with other birders around the world. This not only enhances your birdwatching experience, but also contributes to a greater understanding of bird populations and their habitats, ultimately benefiting global bird conservation efforts.

Participating in Events

Participation in events like the Global Big Day, Great Backyard Bird Count, or eBird Trip Reports is a simple way to engage with other bird enthusiasts. These events provide opportunities to connect with other birders, share sightings, and contribute valuable data to global conservation efforts.

To take part in these events, simply go birding during the specified period and record the number of birds observed. This information can then be submitted to the eBird platform, where it contributes to the world’s largest biodiversity-related citizen science project, helping researchers and conservationists track bird populations, migration patterns, and habitat changes.

Sharing Sightings and Experiences

Fostering connections and collaboration with other birders can be as straightforward as sharing your bird sightings, photos, and experiences with the eBird community. To share your checklist with others, simply tap on “eBird.org” at the bottom of the screen within the eBird app and follow the instructions provided.

By sharing your sightings and experiences, you not only contribute valuable data to the eBird platform, but also inspire and educate fellow birders. This collaborative approach to birdwatching and conservation research is what makes the eBird app a truly invaluable resource for bird enthusiasts worldwide.

Learn more, visit Explore and share your birding with eBird Profile Pages!


In conclusion, the eBird app is a powerful and comprehensive tool for birdwatching enthusiasts, offering a wide range of features to enhance your birdwatching experience and contribute to global bird conservation efforts. By exploring the app, customizing checklists, and connecting with the birdwatching community, you can truly immerse yourself in the world of birding while making a positive impact on bird populations and their habitats. So why not download the eBird app and embark on your birdwatching journey today?

Frequently Asked Questions

Is eBird app free?

eBird Mobile is a free app available for both Android and iOS users, designed to make birding easier and help you keep track of your sightings. It enables you to enter checklists anywhere in the world, while providing your data for scientific research, education, and conservation purposes.

How do I get the eBird app?

Get the free eBird app available on both Google Play and App Stores, enter your user information, then download and install packs, select a location, start a checklist, review, submit, and share.

How do I start eBird?

To begin using eBird, download the app and create an account. Once this is done, take the eBird Essentials course, submit birding checklists, explore sightings, and follow eBird best practices.

Is there an eBird app for iOS?

Yes, there is an eBird Mobile app for iOS that allows you to enter bird observations from any location, has full global taxonomy based on The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World and passes information directly from the iOS device to your eBird account on the web.

Can I use the eBird app offline?

Yes, you can use the eBird app offline and save your checklists on your phone until you have an internet connection available.

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