eBird, eBird eBird, eBird, eBird changed everything about how I do birding. I tell people it’s this online database a repository for bird sightings from around the world. It’s all free and open access. I like the fact that I can have all the birds from our different travels in one place. It allowed me to have my life list. And it’s just an amazing thing not just for bird nerds like myself but anybody. Anyone can use eBird. Everyone is capable. I like to contribute to science. It’ll give us better insights about our own birds in our own backyard. Anybody can contribute and it has value. So for me it’s perfect. Just go for it. [upbeat music]

End of transcript

Your How-To Guide

Explore how eBird can help spark new birding adventures.

  • Discover tools that help you find birds wherever you go
  • Gain confidence submitting your sightings
  • Get expert tips for using eBird and joining the community

eBird Essentials

Enroll Now
About This Course
  • Lessons inside: 5
  • Topics inside: 15
  • Completion time (estimated): 3 hours
  • Instructional videos: 9
  • Total instructional video time: 21 minutes
  • Level: Beginner
  • Categories: Bird Identification, Art and Technical Skills
  • Regionality: Anywhere – Non-regional
  • CEU credits: 0.3 (optional additional purchase)
  • Self-paced, no expiration date, 100% online
Sandhill Cranes
Image: Ian Davies | Macaulay Library

Why We Made This Course

"Discover how eBird can support your passion for birds and how your participation can help us better understand them. Birder, bird watcher, or bird lover, it doesn’t matter—this course is for you. Whether you watch birds at your feeder or on the way to work, or travel miles for that one bird you can’t wait to see, eBird can help. This free course guides you through how to get the most out of your eBirding experiences and invites you to become a part of this worldwide project."

Lindsay Glasner—Lindsay Glasner, Course Instructor
Black-billed Shrike-Tyrant
Image: Havard Lindholm | Macaulay Library

What's Inside

Get up to speed on how the largest biological citizen-science program in the world can help you with your birding. The eBird community gathers more than 100 million bird sightings each year from people like you. Providing a powerful tool for motivated bird enthusiasts everywhere, eBird helps you find more birds and keep track of your sightings. Collectively, these sightings are now empowering a global scientific community and helping answer pressing conservation questions. Full of video tutorials, this course will get you ready to confidently store and share your sightings with eBird.

Course Overview

Lesson 1:
What is eBird?

Learn how eBird contributes to the understanding and conservation of birds, how to explore the hundreds of millions of eBird observations, and how you can share your sightings with friends and researchers from every country in the world.

Lesson 2:
Find Birds Near You

eBird can help you find any bird species you’re interested in. Explore more than a million “eBird Hotspots” around the world.

Lesson 3:
Share Your Observations

Learn the best practices for submitting your observations to eBird, first explore the core concepts of eBird submissions and then a hands-on data entry video.

Lesson 4:
My eBird

My eBird gives you access to everything that relates to your eBird story: your list totals, checklists, locations, contacts, photos, sounds, profile, and much more.

Lesson 5:
Ready to eBird

Apply what you’ve learned in a short quiz that will help you reflect on the essentials of eBird and get you ready to share your sightings with confidence.

Meet the Course Instructors

Lindsay Glasner
Lindsay Glasner
Expert in Environmental Education
Lindsay Glasner is the Outreach Coordinator with the Cornell Lab’s K-12 Education program where she leads workshops, manages the ambassador...
Most recent course:
eBird Essentials
Ian Davies
Ian Davies
Birding Expert, eBird Project Coordinator
Ian Davies is the eBird Project Coordinator at the Cornell Lab where he leads outreach and engagement efforts, and helps coordinate day-to-day...
Most recent course:
eBird Essentials

Hear What Students Have to Say

I have always enjoyed nature and observing birds, but never really got into it until I was introduced to Merlin and eBird. Makes birding much more fun and rewarding by orders of magnitude." Bird Academy Student
The step-by-step app videos were very helpful for getting started using the app." Bird Academy Student
I needed this course so badly. I have wanted to use eBird but found it overwhelming. This course is amazing!" Bird Academy Student
I have been an avid birder for many years having logged my first bird in 1977. I have been hesitant to begin using eBird, unsure how or where to begin. Thanks to this course I feel more confident on how to begin using the program." Bird Academy Student
Though I already use eBird regularly, this course explained details and features I wasn't aware of. It also described the importance of details that I normally took for granted." Bird Academy Student
Get Started

This Course is Entirely Online

There’s nothing to be shipped, and no additional material is necessary. Bird Academy courses are online, self-paced, and there is no deadline to complete them. You can return to them for reference or practice as often as you want. All course material, practice tools, instructional videos, and quizzes are available through your web browser. Learn anytime, anywhere*. Gain the skills and understanding you’re looking for.

*Requires an internet connection and a modern web browser.

Course authors: Ian Davies and Lindsay Glasner
Instructional design: Mya Thompson, Jennifer Fee, and Jeff Szuc
Video production and editing: Shayna Muller
Web design: Jeff Szuc
Applications programmer: Noah Warnke
Text editing: Pat Leonard and Marshall Iliff

"eBird: A New World of Birding" Credits
Speakers (in order of appearance):
Mercedes Alpízar, Costa Rica
Bob Nieman, United States
Gabriel Leite, Brazil
Carol Hasenick, United States
Ana Paula Oxom, Guatemala
David Simpson, United States
Saurabh Sawant, India

Cinematographer: Becky Lane
First Assistant Camera: Robyn Wishna
Editor: Shayna Muller

"Introduction to eBird" Video Credits
Starring: Ian Davies, Chris Wood, Lilly Briggs, Viviana Ruiz-Gutierrez
Produced by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology

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