We want to try a new fun “activity” for 2023. As you know, a big year is a personal challenge or an informal competition among birders who attempt to identify as many species of birds as possible by sight or sound, within a single calendar year and within a specific geographic area. Rather than have a competition among members, let’s see how many different species the group as a whole can see for the year. We already know members’ plans for the year include trips to Costa Rico, Panama, Yellowstone, Maine, Portugal and Northwest Washington. With our normal birding activities, we should have a good count for the year.
To facilitate this activity, I created a new eBird account with a user name as SIBBig. This account’s profile is set to not appear in any rare bird lists, Top 100, or other public lists. This is to avoid misrepresenting the account as a personal account.
Anytime you go birding, just enter your sightings in eBird as usual. Then when you “submit”, you have the option in eBird to Share your checklist with other members of your party. Just include SIBBig as one of those you Share with. The “share” button isn’t available if there is only one observer so you would then need to go into eBird later to share.
You can also share a previously submitted list by going in to eBird and once you view a checklist, you can share, using the button on the left side. You would use this option if you were the only observer or if you choose to share all lists periodically rather than as you enter. I plan to periodically share using this method as I’m not likely to remember as I enter the checklist.
If you don’t have or want an eBird account, you can share your sightings by sending an email to SeabrookIslandBirders@gmail.com. That email needs to give the date, start and stop time, where you did the birding, the number of birds for each species. We’ll then enter directly into SIBBig for you. We strongly encourage you to participate in citizen science yourself by submitting to eBird but we don’t want to miss great sightings.
Some rules on your reports (similar to eBird’s rules):
- Birds must be identified between January 1, 2023 and December 31, 2023.
- Birds recorded must be wild and unrestrained. Oh, and alive. No pets, no feral stuff, no road kill. Unless you hit it.
- Location is not restricted to SC, the Lowcountry, or any other region. As an example, if you go to Costa Rico, all birds identified count. Of course those identified in your backyard also count.
- Birds must have been ethically found. No trespassing, harassing birds, kidnapping better birders, etc.
- Birds can be identified by sight or sound. For a bird to count, a majority of the birders who observed it must agree on its identification.
- Score will be kept with the SIBBig eBird account. As described above, the easiest way to add to the list will be to share an eBird checklist to that account. If you don’t use eBird, just send a list to SeabrookIslandBirders@gmail as described above and we’ll see that it gets added.
I look forward to seeing our list grow. Remember, you can start sharing your lists at 12:01am on January 1. We’ll periodically report our status.
Submitted by: Judy Morr