Monday, December 06, 2010

eBird now available for Iraq sightings

I have a lot of observations written in my notebooks from my last deployment to Iraq (October 2009 to July 2010). Now I have an outlet where I can put them all. My lists on this blog are not too useful since they are static and the data cannot be manipulated.

eBird is a project of the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology that was launched in 2001 to automate the collection of bird observation data. It includes maps, checklists and statistics. The aggregate data is available on the web.

In June of 2010 global eBird was launched which allows entry of observations from around the world. The interface worked very well with my Iraqi observations. If a species is rare or numbers are large the interface asks you to confirm the data before submitting. I was asked to confirm for Barn Swallows in February and for an observation of 150 Wood Pigeons, both routine occurances, so its not perfect.

There was almost no data for Iraq, so I'll be entering mine. I encourage everyone with Iraq bird observations to enter the data in this system, it will be very valuable for those studying Iraqi Avifauna since the system can do such things as generate maps and create checklists and frequency data.

eBird Website