Friday, December 09, 2011

Beidler Forest Hotspot

The Audubon Center at Francis Beidler Forest is an eBird hotspot!  From the eBird webpageA real-time, online checklist program, eBird has revolutionized the way that the birding community reports and accesses information about birds. Launched in 2002 by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society, eBird provides rich data sources for basic information on bird abundance and distribution at a variety of spatial and temporal scales.

eBird documents the presence or absence of species, as well as bird abundance through checklist data. A simple and intuitive web-interface engages tens of thousands of participants to submit their observations or view results via interactive queries into the eBird database. eBird encourages users to participate by providing Internet tools that maintain their personal bird records and enable them to visualize data with interactive maps, graphs, and bar charts. All these features are available in English, Spanish, and French. A birder simply enters when, where, and how they went birding, then fills out a checklist of all the birds seen and heard during the outing.

You can record your bird sightings anywhere you travel.  If you are someplace new or visiting your favorite old-growth swamp, you can use the eBird option on the Audubon Birds app.  The eBird option allows you to see what birds are being reported near your location, especially at hotspot locations.  If you are in our area, the Francis Beidler Forest Audubon Center & Sanctuary is designated as a hotspot.  A quick look at the bar chart shows how abundant a species of bird is at Beidler Forest and when that species is present.  For example, in the images below, Carolina Wrens are frequently seen throughout the year, while Prothonotary Warblers are abundant when present from the end of March to September.

The Christmas Bird Count for Four Holes Swamp will be held on Monday, December 19th.  We can still use you help counting birds!  Call 843-462-2150 to join the count!

Expeditions with Patrick McMillan will feature Francis Beidler Forest at 7:00 pm (new time) on January 1, 2012.  With plenty of distractions on New Year's Day, we understand if you record the show for later viewing!  We have yet to see any of the video, but we were there live when it was captured and you won't want to miss what we experienced.  It was a typical day in the swamp, but typical here is always magical!

Images by Mark Musselman

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