Bird Checklist Submission
The Birding Classic is now using the Texas eBird portal for Birding Classic team checklist submission. This is a great opportunity for teams to contribute to citizen science at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology while raising money for birding and avian habitat conservation projects throughout Texas (through team registration fees and sponsorships).
Step-by-Step Instructions on Using eBird for the Birding Classic
Enhanced How-to Guide for the eBird beginner (or those who like all the details):
Basic How-to Guide for the Those Familiar with eBird:
1. Go to the Texas eBird portal online: http://ebird.org/content/tx
2. Each individual team must create an eBird account with the team name. If you have more than one team, each team must have a different eBird account associated with it. You can put your team name in the “First name” and “Last name” fields when registering (e.g., “The Whirlibirds” would become “First name: The”, “Last name: Whirlibirds”).
3. Enter all scouting data into eBird using the standard eBird Observation Types under the “Data and Effort” page. Submitting scouting lists gives you eBird practice before your tournament day while also contributing to the eBird international database which helps other birders, biologists, and more! View the eBird tutorial for help on using the system. About eBird gives more information on how this data is used.
4. Submit ONE checklist on the day of the competition that represents your official submission for the event. When submitting your OFFICIAL CHECKLIST, use the “Other – Great Texas Birding Classic” Observation Type listed on the “Data and Effort” screen. Almost all of you will be doing ‘Traveling Counts’ (with the exception of Big Sit teams), so do your best to estimate the distance traveled. An estimate is fine. Fill in as much of the other information as you know (acreage is usually not applicable, for example). Under “Comments” fill in your tournament category for the Birding Class.
5. Fill in your checklist with the species seen/heard definitively during your tournament days, based on the Rules of the Great Texas Birding Classic for counting (Rule I.A-J). Use the following guidelines in your checklist reporting:
- Reporting the total number of each species seen gives much better data for eBird, so hopefully during scouting days at least you will be able to provide that level of data.
- During your tournament day, you may be moving so fast that a presence/absence survey with “X” shown (as in the Mallard, Cinnamon Teal, and Northern Shoveler in the screenshot below) might be more practical.
- Any bird observations flagged by eBird or requiring additional documentation according to Birding Classic official rules will need documentation, and you must provide details about the observation and photos at the time of submission so that reviewers will have the details they need when the time comes to review the checklists. There will be no back-and-forth with teams requesting details. It is your responsibility to supply documentation for flagged records. Flagged records may include rare birds, birds out of season, or exceptionally high counts of a species (X indicates presence, so using X on your official list avoids tripping the high count filters). Use the “Add Details” button next to the bird in question to supply this additional information.
6. Once you’ve submitted your official tournament checklist, you must share it with the “GTBCStaff” account by using the “Share w/Others in Your Party” button on the Checklist page of eBird.
- Please only share your official tournament list with “GTBCStaff” - not your scouting checklists.
- This is your final tournament day checklist and it MUST BE submitted to eBird and shared with the Birding Classic “GTBCStaff” account no later than 11:59 pm on the day after your competition day, per Birding Classic rules.
7. Once you have shared your checklist with “GTBCStaff” you can hide your official list by clicking on the “Hide from eBird Output” button on the lower right-hand side of the Checklist page. This will make your checklist become ‘hidden’ from eBird output so that other teams cannot see an earlier participating team’s total.
8. At the end of the event (by 11:59pm May 16), log back on to eBird with your team account one last time to ‘unhide’ your checklist, exposing the data to the review tools and to the eBird editors for scoring purposes. Do this by going to “My eBird”’ and then to “Manage my observations”. Once there you can click ‘view/edit’ next to your official checklist and then click “unhide” on the lower right.
9. Winners will be announced at the Regional Awards Ceremonies, sponsored by Audubon Texas, which will be held at the beginning of June (exact date and time to be determined).