It's simple. Select as many points as you want and go out at least two mornings in June to record the birds you see within 5 minutes at each point. We'll help with the details and a CD of breeding bird songs.
We offer regular training workshops to help new monitors. New recruits can also be paired up with an existing monitor if they want hands on learning but aren't ready to commit to doing poitns of their own.
We greatly appreciate your help! If you are interested in monitoring a site or would like to request more information, please contact Lee Ramsey at for additional details.
Your bird sightings can help landowners manage habitat for birds and help researchers estimate bird populations. Simply enter your sightings on BCN eBird. It's that easy to make a difference for birds!
We hope to vastly improve our understanding of breeding birds by recording the types of habitats present at monitoring points. This quick process will help your monitoring data have a much greater impact!
Bird Monitoring initiatives by citizen scientists have been active in the Chicago region since at least the 1980's. In the past, a lack of standardized protocols and the daunting task of entering reams of data into digitized files meant that much of the information amassed over the past years remained inaccessible and difficult to analyze.
Standardized protocol for bird monitoring was implemented in a 1998 effort - spearheaded by Judy Pollock, Alan Anderson, Terry Schilling, Lee Ramsey, and Elizabeth Sanders of the Bird Conservation Network (BCN), with major participation from a group of dedicated birders, scientists, land managers and conservationists including Jerry Garden (Chicago Audubon Society), Jerry Sullivan (Cook County Forest Preserve District), Doug Stotz (Field Museum), Stephen Packard (Audubon - Chicago Region) and Dan Niven (Illinois Natural History Survey). This effort transformed monitoring practices and resolved central difficulties.
Web publication and quick analysis of this data became a reality in 2001 when Cornell Lab of Ornithology's BirdSource teamed up with BCN and the Field Museum to unveil a new web site. This site came about thanks to the efforts of Debby Moskovits and Doug Stotz (Field Museum),
Joining eBird in 2003, the database moved to a special BCN version of the eBird website, a nationwide side for data entry managed by Cornell Lab of Ornithology & Audubon. This move provided easier access to data for research purposes and casual observations, and also allowed monitors to easily enter their sightings at any of the predefined birding hot spots in the Chicagoland area.
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