With Vermont eBird, the breeding bird atlas never ends! We want you to keep documenting the nesting status of the birds you are finding through Vermont eBird.
You can make your Vermont eBird sightings even more valuable by adding breeding information to them. How? The eBird data entry system has the ability to enter highest-level breeding codes along with your bird observations. When you get to step 3 of entering a checklist – what did you see and hear – next to each species that you enter the number seen a button appears that says “add details”. If you click this button you will be able to add comments about the species and you will have a button that says “Breeding Code”. This allows you to choose the highest possible breeding code you observed while bird watching.
Perhaps you saw an American Crow carrying nesting material or a chickadee excavating a nest hole. Maybe you found an eagle nest while paddling. Whatever breeding evidence you observed and no matter the bird species, it’s all important for the eBird database. Our goal is to collect information about the timing and locations of bird nesting. This will be the first continuous, year-round, worldwide, breeding bird atlas effort. Breeding Bird Atlases have been conducted in many countries, states, and provinces around the world and have taught us much about where and when birds are breeding. This eBird effort differs in a few fundamental ways.
First, there are no “safe dates”. Many atlases make assumptions about the breeding status of a species based on where and when it occurs. At eBird, you provide these specifics with your complete bird checklists and in the future we hope to be able to use these data to automatically identify periods of breeding or probable breeding.
Although our breeding codes are listed as confirmed, probable, or possible, we realize this listing is highly dependent on species, location, and date and in many cases may require a bit more information before being useful for establishing breeding presence of a species. These are meant as a general guide; the more important thing is to record the behaviors observed. Future users of the data can analyze the data in conjunction with local understanding of status to make their own assumptions about breeding based on the location, date, and behaviors observed.
We hope you’ll help us to keep tracking the locations and phenology of Vermont’s breeding birds using Vermont eBird!