I have a “terrible” photo, should I upload it?
Is the bird marked as unusual in eBird, and can you tell what the bird is? If so, then yes! Even the worst quality photos are valuable if they can be used to establish the identification of the bird, whether it is a Rock Pigeon in a city, or the first record of a species for the country.
What is the copyright status of my media on eBird?
All your media is copyright YOU. The Cornell Lab is allowed to use media that you upload for not-for-profit uses in eBird, the Macaulay Library, and other Cornell Lab resources. Please see our licensing agreement here.
Can I download media from the collection?
Will eBird archive my images for me?
The images uploaded to eBird through the media upload process are archived in the Macaulay Library. You can download the original files of your media by viewing the asset page (e.g. ML###) and clicking 'Download Original' in the lower right corner.
You can also download an organized spreadsheet of the metadata for your personal media assets in eBird/ML, much like with your eBird checklists themselves. Just go to your eBird Profile page and click 'View All' next to 'Latest Photos' or use the Media Search to access your media gallery by searching for your name under 'Contributor.' Once there, you can click the blue 'Save Spreadsheet' link in the top right corner and begin the download.
Why can’t I upload more/larger files?
The limiting factor for any media hosting is the technology required to upload, process, and maintain the files that people contribute. When more than a quarter-million people have used eBird, we have to take this problem into account. The file limits of 10 per species and 10MB per image are actually quite liberal for a website that doesn’t exclusively host photos. As technology improves over the years, we may eventually increase these limits.
Why does it take so long to upload my images?
Several processes take place when you upload your photos to eBird. The first process is on your side, and the speed in which your files are transferred to eBird depends largely on your internet connection and bandwidth. If it’s taking a long time to load files, it means that there are limitations on the amount of information you can send across your internet connection. Faster connection speeds mean faster upload times. Bigger files take longer, so if your connection is slow, considering limiting the file sizes of your images/sounds to something smaller. The second process is on our end. Once we receive the file, we ingest it into the database, transcode the file to a smaller version for display, and send it back to the eBird checklist. This process usually happens instantaneously, but if there is a lot of traffic, it’s possible that your files will be put into a processing queue, which could result in minor delays. If a file isn’t uploading or the process isn’t completing in a timely manner, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why can't I upload videos to eBird?
Archiving video in eBird presents an enormous technical challenge since video file sizes are significantly larger than those of photos. We do plan to add the ability to upload video in the future, but for now, you can hyperlink your videos to a third party source and then embed the video in the species comments of your checklist. Please see here for information on how to do that. If you have a sizable collection of high-definition, high-quality video, please contact the Macaulay Library to discuss the possibility of archiving your media directly.
Is it possible to upload media from the eBird Mobile app?
This is not currently possible in the app since there are many technical challenges involved with implementing that feature. You can use a mobile web browser to open a checklist and add media instead!
I uploaded my friend’s photo, and it has my name on it. How can I change that?
Photos are associated with the eBird account they are uploaded under, and the rights to the photo belong to that account. If it is a photo from your friend, then you should share the checklist with them, and get them to upload it! eBird is 100% free, so there is no reason they can’t upload it on their own.
It’s important to understand that when someone shares a checklist with you, or you share with someone, your media will be visible to them, and theirs to you. This is a great feature, but it’s also important to understand that currently only 10 rich media files (photos or sound files) can be associated with each species on a checklist, regardless of number of observers. Therefore, if someone shares a checklist with you and a species already has 10 media files, you must first remove the media from the other observer(s). This won’t change the media that they see on their version of the checklist, but it will open up space for you to add your own media files to support the record.
What about all the images I’ve embedded from other websites (e.g., Flickr)?
If you uploaded your photos to Flickr and hyperlinked them to eBird checklists, you can use the eBird Flickr Importer to import your photos automatically from Flickr to eBird, replacing hyperlinks with media curated in the Macaulay Library. Please make sure to follow the tool's instructions closely!
For now, we have no way to retrieve images from websites other than Flickr and embed them in your eBird checklists. If you have media hosted at other sources and want to include them in in eBird, you will have to go back and personally enter them at this time.
I want to put non-bird photos in the Checklist Comments, why can’t I?
At this time, each photo is associated with a specific observation in a checklist. Due to how the database is structured, we are not currently able to drag-and-drop images of habitat or non-bird fauna and flora into the checklist comments.