LOCAL BIRD SIGHTINGS & eBird
One great new way to find what birds are being seen locally is the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's eBird website. Birders now report sightings from around the globe to eBird, but you can also filter sightings to show only those for your local area. To the right is a version of eBird's google gadget showing recent Maryland bird sightings reported to eBird. This list is automatically updated as data is submitted to eBird. The “MD Rarities” tab shows recent sightings throughout the state of either rare or uncommon birds, or birds seen at an unusual time of year or location. You can click on the “map” or “list” links within the sighting to show a map of the location and the full list of species the observer who reported the sighting submitted to eBird. You can also click on the “MoCo Sightings” tab, which provides a list of all recent Montgomery County sightings reported to eBird. Click on the green arrow to the right of the sighting for more details. (Thanks to Jared Fisher for customizing this gadget for Montgomery County). Below are links to the eBird website from which you can access all Montgomery County bird sightings reported to eBird.
Dynamic eBird Bar Chart of All Birds Reported from Montgomery County This is much more than a traditional bar chart! Like a traditional bar chart it does show all species reported in the county and indicates seasonal occurrence and abundance. But click on a species name and you'll see a big difference! You're transferred to a map of the county area showing individual balloons for each individual sighting of the bird. Orange balloons show sightings within the last 30 days, and blue balloons show older sightings. Click on a balloon and a list pops up showing the name of the location, the dates of observation, and the names of the observers. You can also click on a link next to the observer's name to see what other birds they saw that day.
Bar Charts and Location Maps of Local Hotspots. This link lists the names of Maryland birding hotspots, including those in Montgomery County. If you want to know what birds have been reported to eBird at one of these hotspots, or would like to see the location on a map, select the name of the hotspot and click continue, and then you will see the corresponding bar chart. Click on the name of any species in the bar chart. This will take you to a map with the sightings for that species marked with a balloon. One of the balloons will be for the hot spot. (eBird was recently changed so that all sightings in the area are displayed when you click on a species name -- that means you may have to click on a number of balloons before you find the location of the hotspot you want.)
If you find these links useful, please consider contributing your own sightings to eBird if you are not already!
Other good sources for information regarding local bird sightings include the Maryland and DC Birding Group on Google, which covers Maryland and the District of Columbia, and the "Voice of the Naturalist" put out by the Audubon Naturalist Society, which covers Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia.
WHERE TO FIND LOCAL BIRDS
The best source of information regarding Montgomery County birding hotspots is the club's A Birder's Guide to Montgomery County Maryland, 2d Ed. It covers 17 major sites including the C&O Canal, Hughes Hollow, Little Bennett Regional Park, Blue Mash, and Black Hill Regional Park, as well as 18 "Little Treasures".
The guide is sold at club meetings, or can be ordered from online at retailers such as the Audubon Naturalist Society.
The best way to meet local birders is to participate in one of our field trips or attend a club meeting. See the Club Calendar for a list of both.
EBird also compiles "Top 100" lists of birders who contribute bird sightings to eBird. Below is a link to the eBird website's list of Top 100 Montgomery County eBirders ranked by the number of eBird checklists they have submitted for the County:
Top 100 Montgomery County eBirders
MONTGOMERY COUNTY BIRD LISTS
- Here is a free list of all birds known to have occurred in Montgomery County in recent times as of 2007, with breeding status and seasonal abundance shown for regularly occurring species.
- Here is a free Field Checklist of Montgomery County Birds listing birds regularly occurring in the county. It has been designed to facilitate entry of sightings into eBird by following the eBird taxonomic sequence and allowing for entry of multiple locations. But it can be used for any purpose.”
- Here are Free Individual Species Accounts describing the status and in many cases prime locations for regularly occurring species in the County