Can anyone use eBird? Yes! eBird is for everyone interested in birds! Check out our free eBird Essentials course to get started.
How do I identify a bird? Use Merlin Bird ID! The eBird Explore page also has useful tools for bird identification with Explore Species and the Illustrated Checklist tab under Explore Region. For North American species, All About Birds also provides a useful online guide to birds.
How do I count birds? Give your best conservative estimate for all of the individuals you found by sight and sound. For tougher scenarios with large flocks, mixed flocks, and moving flocks, check out how to count birds .
How do I edit my checklists in eBird? On eBird Mobile, tap on the checklist from the “Submitted” tab then press “Edit” in the bottom right corner. On the eBird website, click Checklist Tools and choose to edit the location, date and effort, or the species list from the dropdown menu; on each, make sure to save your changes when finished.
How do I add a bird not on the checklist? On eBird Mobile, type the name into the search bar and press “Click here to search full taxonomy.” On the eBird website, use the “+ Add Species” button and type in the name. If you can’t find the species, try the scientific name or check your Common Name Display Language to ensure your bird names are displayed in your preferred language.
How do I use/choose locations in eBird? Pick a location that represents where you went birding, whether it’s a hotspot or a personal location. Check out our article on how to select locations in eBird.
How do I suggest a hotspot? You can suggest a new personal location as a hotspot on the eBird website from the Submit page by using “Find it on a Map” and clicking the suggestion box. You can also suggest prior personal locations going to Manage My Locations under My eBird and using the dropdown menu at the top right.
How do I update my personal/account info? To update your name, email, password, or other info, click your username in the top right from any eBird page and select “Cornell Lab Account” from the dropdown menu. To edit your eBird Profile picture and “About Me” info, go to “My eBird” then “Your Profile” and “Edit Profile” on the left under the profile picture.
Where did my data go? Your data is safe! If you aren't seeing it in your account, you likely have multiple accounts in eBird. See below for info on how to consolidate multiple eBird accounts.
How do I recover my password, username, or account info? If you forgot your password, go to the eBird login screen and click the link "Forgot Password?" below the blue "Sign In" button. This will send an email to the email address on your My eBird Preferences page; please be sure your email is correct!
If you forgot your username, click the "Forgot username?" button from the eBird login screen to get an email reminder of the username(s) tied to that email address. If you have more than one eBird account, you will get multiple usernames back. If so, you should consolidate your data from any redundant accounts into a single account so your lists are accurate!
If the email address tied to your eBird account has been deactivated *and* you can’t recall your username and password, please email us so we can help you. Include your current email address in eBird and the email address you’d like to change it to. This is the only true “lock-out” scenario that requires help from eBird Central! Otherwise all users have the tools to resolve any login troubles.
How do I consolidate multiple eBird accounts? Log into the account(s) that you wish to close and use the checklist sharing feature to share each checklist with your main account (use your primary account’s username instead of the email address when sharing). Be sure to accept the checklists by logging into your other account BEFORE deleting them from your original account. Once finished, change your password on the account(s) you no longer want to maintain so you never log in to them by setting a password like "NEVER USE.”
Why don’t my checklists on the eBird website sync with eBird Mobile? eBird Mobile is a one-way data collection tool, so only checklists created on that version of the app are shown. We are always striving to further streamline the app with the eBird website-- stay tuned for updates!
Why isn’t my record showing showing up? If your sighting was rare, it needs to be confirmed by a local volunteer review before showing publicly; this helps ensure that eBird data is reliable for the researchers, conservationists, and birders who use it every day. Read more about data quality in eBird and how to document your sightings. If your sighting wasn’t rare but you can’t see it on Explore Region, it’s likely because someone eBirded that species more recently (the default displays the most recent sightings of species in the region).
Why isn’t my photo or recording showing up? Media uploaded for rare observations also won't show up publicly before a reviewer confirms the observations. Click “Show Unconfirmed” under "More Filters" to view these media. If your media is on a checklist that has been marked Not Public, it will not show up unless the checklist is fixed and marked public again. See here for more info.
What do slash and “sp.” mean? These are entry options for birds that couldn't be identified to species. We encourage eBirders to use them as needed; they help us know about unidentified birds that were present versus birds that weren't present. See the eBird Taxonomy article for more info.
How do I report Rock Pigeons and Muscovy Ducks? The option listed on the checklist should be the correct one for your area. To understand the distinction between "Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)" and "Rock Pigeon (Wild Type)" plus "Muscovy Duck" and "Muscovy Duck (Domestic Type)," see the eBird Taxonomy article for more info.
What if I don't want a checklist to show publicly in eBird? You can click "Checklist Tools" and select "Hide from eBird output" for any list. You may want to do that if you are submitting a list-building checklist, or if there is a potentially sensitive record on private property. Hidden checklists keep species off the output (e.g., maps, bar charts etc.) but does not hide the fact that you went birding altogether (i.e., the date and location may show up on the Recent Checklists feed, but no one will be able to see the species you saw). We always recommend 'unhiding' your checklist at a later date because hidden eBird checklists cannot be used for scientific analysis or by fellow birders. See here for more info on reporting sensitive records.
What checklists are eligible for the eBirder of the Month challenges? In addition to the specific criteria for each monthly challenge, checklists must be 1) complete checklists with all species reported and 2) have counts for all species (no X's) to be eligible for the monthly challenges. Checklists shared with you and checklists you share with others count. Just make sure you submit your checklists by the end of the month for each monthly contest!
How can I use eBird for my Christmas Bird Counts? eBirding your Christmas Bird Counts (CBCs) is easy. Just go eBirding as normal, and make sure that any data collected during the CBC season is entered for single parties only—not parties that spend a lot of time split up. When eBirding your CBC, please keep different checklists for each location that you visit—this is much more valuable information than your entire sector. At the end of the day, use the Trip Summary on eBird Mobile for iOS, or the Summarize My Observations tool on My eBird, and quickly get a full day list.