Fall eBird Workshop and Field Trip Series

Are you a bird watcher that has thought about using eBird but need a little help or motivation? Or maybe you’re already using eBird and would like to learn more about how it works, what it’s used for, or how you can take your eBirding to the next level? Either way, regular use of eBird will not only elevate your enjoyment of birding but is a free way of giving back to your hobby, community, and worldwide conservation efforts.

I’m the eBird reviewer for Duval, Nassau, and Volusia Counties in Florida. Come join me for one or all of the sessions in this free three-part series to hear more about eBird and how it will advance your interest in bird watching and citizen science.

Each of these three evening workshops will take place at the Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens educational facility, and will be followed up with practical, hands-on use in the field during a guided bird walk. See details for each of these sessions and field trips below.

eBird Workshop for Beginners
Wednesday, September 16, 2015, at Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens. No fee.

About the workshop:
I’ll introduce eBird’s background, scope, and impact on conservation by sharing a couple of real-world examples of how the data has been used for various efforts, including local success stories right here in our community. I’ll then walk you through how to manage your account, create checklists, select and create locations, how to record and document species, and submit your observations. The presentation will focus on the web version of the eBird software, as understanding the web version is foundational to using the mobile app in the field. There will be plenty of time for questions and answers after the presentation.

About the field trip:
All are welcome to join the guided field trip at University of North Florida’s Robert W. Loftin nature trails on Saturday, September 19th beginning at 8AM, and those with the Android or iOS “BirdLog” or eBird apps can practice their entry skills in the field and get hands-on help when needed. These trails around Lake Onieda at UNF are named after Dr. Loftin (1938-1993), esteemed local professor, ornithologist, and conservationist, and provide easy walking access to a variety of habitats including pine flatwoods, cypress swamp, and sandhill. We will be visiting at a perfect time of year to observe migrant warblers, tanagers, and grosbeaks, in addition to the more common resident species like Brown-headed Nuthatch, Eastern Bluebird, Pied-billed Grebe, and Anhinga.

eBird Workshop – Intermediate & Advanced Users
Wednesday, October 7, 2015, at Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens. No fee.

About the workshop:
This second workshop in the series is designed to build on the first, but is also an appropriate place for experienced eBirders to jump into the program. I will go into more detail around reporting sub-specific forms, rare birds, how to run reports and use the various alerting and other features to improve your own birding. I’ll also cover the data quality and review process, the importance of writing descriptive comments and tips on how to do so, and also give you a look “behind the curtain” at the filters and review queue process. There will be plenty of time for questions and answers after the presentation, and if you have specific questions or suggested areas you’d like covered, please send them in advance to me at kedailey@yahoo.com so they can be included in the presentation.

About the field trip:
Join me in Clay County at the Bayard Conservation Area for a guided field trip on Saturday, October 10th, beginning at 8AM, and practice your eBird entry skills in real time via your mobile app. Bayard’s mixed habitat and proximity to the St. Johns River will allow us to observe and record a great variety of bird species including migrant songbirds, waders, raptors, woodpeckers, and owls. This trip coincides with peak thrush migration, so species like Veery, Swainson’s and Gray-cheeked Thrush are possible. Other target species include Eastern Wood-Pewee and Bachman’s Sparrow.

eBird Workshop – Hands-on Historical Loading
Wednesday, November 11, 2015, at Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens. No fee.

About the workshop:
This third and final workshop in the series is designed to assist eBird users with uploading and submitting their historical records. Many birdwatchers have years’ worth of data in various notes – in notebooks, sticky pads, checklists, emails, scribbled in the back of a field guide, etc., and the thought of getting all that information into eBird can be intimidating and overwhelming. It isn’t easy, but it’s also not as difficult or time consuming as most people think, and the importance of getting historical data into eBird cannot be overstated. Join me for an interactive, hands-on workshop to get your records entered. If possible, please email ahead of time to express your interest and discuss with me how you can be best prepared for the workshop – a little homework ahead of time is preferred, but is not required. Contact me at kedailey@yahoo.com.

About the field trip:
Cary State Forest is a tragically under-birded area that splits Nassau and Duval County. Join me at 730AM at Cary State Forest’s main entrance off US301 in Nassau County on Saturday, November 14, 2015. We will spend the majority of the morning in the Nassau County side looking for woodpeckers, Northern Bobwhite, owls, sparrows, and other land birds. This forest is also one of the premier places in Northeast Florida to observe Fox Squirrel.

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