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Biology, Everyday science experiments, Learning, Sustainability

Mini post: What happens when we share a passion

I’m not a big Valentine’s Day person, so I thought I’d look for a different take on the day of love and what I found was some amazing graphics and almost 180,000 people sharing a love of birds and science.

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology has a program called eBird that has been operating for more than 15 years. It is a citizen science project meaning that regular people report data, in this case bird observations, and scientists use that data. What have they done with the data? They have been able to track the migratory paths hundreds of bird species. This means, that it’s no longer just about knowing the summer and winter ranges of a species but knowing what path they follow when they migrate and along what timeline.

Black-capped Chickadee abundance over time
Image provided by eBird (www.ebird.org) and created 2020

This has huge implications for conservation as the data can be used to evaluate the impact of development projects, and identify conservation needs.

To me, this is what we should be striving for everyday, not just on days that have been arbitrarily designated as Valentines Day or Earth Day or whatever. Working together in unique ways to understand our planet, and our fellow citizens, human or otherwise.

Check out the eBird project and the super cool time lapse maps on their site.

The stats in this post are from Borgmann, 2020.

Fink, D., T. Auer, A. Johnston, M. Strimas-Mackey, O. Robinson, S. Ligocki, B. Petersen, C. Wood, I. Davies, B. Sullivan, M. Iliff, S. Kelling. 2020. eBird Status and Trends, Data Version: 2018; Released: 2020. Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. https://doi.org/10.2173/ebirdst.2018

About Tai Munro

I am passionate about making science, sustainability, and sport accessible through engaging information and activities.


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